Family factors and career aspirations of Chinese adolescents
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Career aspiration is an important variable for understanding an individual’s career-related behavior in matters such as choosing appropriate education pathways, making relevant career-related choices, and perceiving the social forces affecting the availability and nature of specific career opportunities. Despite increasing study of family influences on the career aspirations of adolescents in the U.S., little research has been conducted with native Chinese adolescents’ career aspirations. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between career aspirations and selected family factors. The Career-Related Parental Support Scale (CRPSS; Turner, Alliman-Brissett, Lapan, Udipi, & Ergun, 2003) measured adolescents’ perceptions of parental support for their educational and vocational development. Career aspirations were measured by an open-ended question included in the demographic questionnaire. A majority of participants, middle school students in one Chinese city, aspired to high prestige occupations. Results indicated that parents’ career aspirations for their children contributed the most to explaining the career aspirations of Chinese adolescents. Other family factors provided little or no additional explanation of adolescents’ career aspirations once the influence of parents’ aspirations for their children were determined. Findings also indicate a need to provide career education programs for both students and parents in public school systems in China.