Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Career-Related Parent Support and Career Barriers: An Investigation of Contextual Variables

Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Career-Related Parent Support and Career Barriers: An Investigation of Contextual Variables

Article excerpt

The authors used social cognitive career theory (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994) as the basis for examining the person and contextual variables of gender, ethnicity, educational and career barriers, and career-related parent support for incoming 1st-year African American, Asian, Latino, and White college students. Women, as compared to men, perceived significantly higher levels of career barriers but similar levels of coping efficacy in dealing with these barriers. Women also reported receiving more career-related emotional support from parents than did men. For all participants, career-related parent support accounted for a significant portion of the variance for perceptions of educational and career barriers and coping efficacy with educational and career barriers.

Keywords: career-related parent support, career barriers, gender, ethnicity

Social cognitive career theory (SCCT) is a useful vehicle for studying both person and contextual variables in career development because it predicts academic and career interests, choices, persistence, and success (Lent & Brown, 2006; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994). Although there is evidence to support the SCCT model, there has been relatively little research on the specific links between the impact of perceived barriers and career support from social influences on students' career development (Flores, Navarro, & Dewitz, 2008). Regarding the former, the SCCT model posits that perceived educational and career barriers can interfere with the pursuit of a particular career path despite strong selfefficacy and outcome expectations (Brown & Lent, 1996). Ethnic and gender differences are especially important contextual considerations because individuals from underprivileged backgrounds experience unique discrimination, stereotypes, and role expectations that form unique barriers to their career success (Cook, Heppner, & O'Brien, 2005). Additionally, their perceived barriers have been studied primarily in student populations pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Lent et al., 2005). Therefore, understanding the link between perceived barriers and effective methods of coping with such barriers is a particularly crucial endeavor for diverse college campuses and warrants investigation across students' academic interests and majors.

Given the established links between career-related parent support and important career outcomes (Whiston & Keller, 2004), parents may represent one very important source of their children's perceptions of and confidence in coping with educational and career barriers (Turner, Alliman-Brissett, Lapan, Udipi, & Ergun, 2003) relevant for students of all academic majors. However, many lst-year college students are living away from their parents for the first time; therefore, it is crucial for career counselors to understand the nature of the relation between parental support and the barriers students may face in this important and stressful transition. Furthermore, informa- tion about both parental support and the nature of perceived barriers may guide career counselors to develop new interventions for helping students recognize and cope with career and education-related barriers, assisting students and parents in maintaining effective communication during this transition, and helping students find new and effective sources of career- related support away from home.

We attempted to address the gap in the literature by bringing further attention to contextual forces in the SCCT model and expand the base of this research to students in many academic areas. Specifically, we explored potential gender and ethnic differences in perceived barriers and career-related parent support. In addition, we examined whether career-related parent support is related to perceptions of barriers and self-efficacy for coping with perceived barriers for African American, Asian, Latino, and White incoming college students to assess these relations across gender, race/ethnicity, and academic areas of interest. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.