Career Choice And Its Effects On Secondary School Students

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of nurturing styles on career choice of secondary school students in Kaduna State, Nigeria.  Four (4) objectives, four(4) research questions and four(4) null hypotheses were formulated. Among the objectives were; to determine the influence of emotional concentration nurturing style on career choice of secondary school students, to determine the influence of avoidancenurturing style on students‟ career choice. The null hypotheses include among others; acceptance nurturing style has no significant influence on career choice of students. Survey research was adopted for the study.To achieve this purpose, a closed-ended questionnaire was developed; three hundred and eighty four (384) copies of the questionnaire were

distributed to the secondary school students drawn from twelve (12) public schools, across the three (3) senatorial zones in Kaduna state using multistage sampling techniques. The questionnaire were distributed to the students in their respective schools with the help of twelve (12) trained research assistants (i.e. one per each school), out of the three hundred and eighty four (384) copies of questionnaire distributed, only three hundred and seventy

were correctly completed and returned. Pearson Product moment correlation

coefficient(PPMC)was used for testing the four (4) null hypothesesat 0.05 level of significance. The results revealed that significant influence exists between parental nurturing styles and career choice of students. It was concluded thatacceptance nurturing style has positive influence on career choice than emotional concentration and avoidance nurturing styles, as students from acceptance nurturing style have good career choice and are more confident in the choice of career. Based on the results, recommendations were made to the government to equip parents with skills on parenting through seminars, workshops and media among others.





              1.1       Background to the Study

Parents are expected to exert an important influence on their children‟s career Choice. A number of parents realize this but act only at time when children are about to make their career decision usually at senior secondary level, for most others children are left on their own without appropriate guidance. It is common to hear a child  say” I want to be a doctor” or “I want to study architecture when I grow up” some children also manipulate materials like empty cartons, tins or paper to construct toy houses, cars, air planes among others.Some have skills in sports therefore it is the duty of parents to support, guide, motivate and or challenge their children towards the achievement of their goal which could help them in career choice. Young (2008) and Dauda (2011) viewed that, the failure or success of parents to encourage their children‟s career choice is influenced by several factors amongst which is; the type of nurturing.

Nurturing helps to bring out the best in students. Children need encouragement and praise when they try various tasks, they need to know that their parents really care about them.  Nurturing as an aspect of parenting is seen as the process of bringing up, caring for, encouraging and or protecting someone or something to grow (Bavoalek 2001) Parents shouldsupport and guide their children‟s career aspiration rather than out rightly dismissing them or imposing career on them, even though such career aspirations may and may not change along the line, which is when the children discover their academic abilities or challenges. It is therefore important to identify the various nurturing styles and how each influences career choice. Furthermore, parental nurturing style refers to the type of relationship experienced by children with their parents or guardians (Koki 2009). Also (Roe 1987 in Koki 2009)categorized the nurturing stylesinto three predominant groups and each is sub-divided into two; emotional concentration of the child, avoidance of the child and acceptance nurturing styles. Emotional concentration on the child can either be over protection or over demanding; also avoidance of the child is either rejection or neglect; while acceptance can either be casual acceptance or loving acceptance. Roe (1987) then concluded that, children who experienced acceptance nurturing styles have good career identity and exploration which leads to good career choice, those that experienced avoidance nurturing styles have low career ambition, therefore, have poor career choice. While those who experience emotional concentration lacked career exploration thereby leading them to confusion in the choice of career. It is therefore important for parents to practice the best nurturing style which allows children to develop their careers, thereby enhancing good career choice.

The process of career choice is essentially that of developing and implementing occupational self-concept. Childrenare full of emotional needs and this requires a lot of love from parents. Experiencing love and care from parents give children a special security and immunity which leads to creativity and career exploration thereby boasting their career choice. Career choice provides a person, often a student with a focus for selecting a career or subject to undertake in the future which helps in career choice.

Career choice is the selection or choosing a career which an individual has the potentials of entering (Kolo 1999). He further postulated three conditions necessary for a choice to take place; choice supply, which refers to having two or more careers from which to choose, secondly the incentive to make the choice, which indicates that the individual must be motivated to select, and thirdly is the freedom to choose without being restricted. All individuals must give serious thought to their abilities,interest and aptitude in vocational choices. Those who failed, find themselves engaged in occupations for which they are ill equipped. Unfortunately, some parents push children to select careers which they fancy (parents)regardless of the children‟s ability or interest. Parents are very crucial in the early developmental process of the child. Through their efforts, the child can be helped to learn appropriate behavior, attitudes, values and skills which could help greatly in career choice in feature. It is important for parents to know that by supporting and affirming a child‟s ability to succeed parents‟ can be more influential than an adolescent‟s peer group in career choice. Many people find themselves in a wrong choice of career; a happy life depends often on the choice of a suitable career. If people can fit into their right type of job it becomes possible they would work happily in full capacity. In line with this Dauda(2011) stated that, their success or failure in occupational choice has profound repercussions not only to theindividuals‟ life but also to the society which he is to serve.

Parents play a significant role in career choice of children. It is important to consider unconscious intention of parents in terms of gender difference in their influence on career choice. In conjunction with this, Dauda(2011) found that, parents reported differences in how they help their sons and daughters in choice of career. Parents demonstrate more interest; provide more encouragement and challenges to their sons compared to their daughters. The present study observed that, in some parts of Kaduna State like Zaria and Giwa, certain courses or careers are attached to the male child; for example, engineering, architecture and military works. Therefore, a female child is not allowed or is discouraged by parents or the society to choose these careers because they are designated to be for men only.

Parents have influence in their children‟s career, by positively reinforcing or discouraging certain behaviors that can encourage or discourage certain interests, talents or abilities. It is in view of this that this study focused more attention on the influence of Parental Nurturing Styles on career choice of students in Kaduna State secondary schools.

              1.2       StatementoftheProblem

Today in Nigeria, many parents have generated lots of problems such as; poor academic performance, indecisiveness, confusion and over dependency on parents in the choice of career. This is due to the fact that most parents do not care to observe, encourage and support their children‟s skills, talents, initiatives and abilities; rather, they dictate which career their children should choose due to a number of reasons such as; ignorance, good remuneration, good condition of service and the respect accorded to those in the profession by members of the society.

The study observed from day to day interaction with students, colleagues and parents and as a teacher in Government Secondary School Zaria, that lot of students complained that their parents made them to select science subjects because of its prestige. Some students complained that they were very good in drawing and carving but their parents insisted that they should be lawyers or doctors. Some female students also complained that they have ambition for military jobs and engineering but they were discouraged by their parents, that these professions are designated for men. In addition to these, Atokola (2014) reported that a grandmother shouted at her granddaughter because she said she wanted to be a teacher while the grandmother wanted her to be a doctor. This resulted in the students not having interest in career and may not perform credibly in class and even in work place, which portrayed a setback in the development of capacity building in the society and the nation at large.

Similarly, the researcher who was the then Guidance and Counseling mistress (2009-2012) in

Government Secondary School Dakace, Zariaobserved that after guiding the junior secondary school three ( JSS3) students on career opportunities by different professionals, most students were indecisive on their subject selection at Senior Secondary School one (SS1), some were confused, others depended on their parents for choice of career, while  only few were able to make their subjects‟ selection confidently. This shows that majority of the students do not have career of their own choice which indicated poor career choice. This motivated the study to assess whetherparental nurturing style has influence on career choice of secondary school students or not

Furthermore, Sanusi (2014), a Guidance and Counseling desk officer in Zaria educational zone, reported that many parents refused their children‟s placement into art and commercial classes even though, the abilities of their children were tested academically and they were found to be suitable for art and commercial classes. In view of the above mentioned challenges and problems, the researcher was motivated to assess the influence of nurturing styles on career choiceof senior secondary school students in Kaduna state, Nigeria.

              1.3         Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study was to determine the influence of nurturing styles on career choice of senior secondary school students in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

The specific objectives are to assess:

  1. the influence of emotional concentration nurturing style on career choice of senior secondary school students in Kaduna state.
  2. the influence of avoidance nurturing style on career choice of senior secondary school students in Kaduna state.
  3. the influence of acceptance nurturing style on career choiceof senior secondary school students in Kaduna State.
  4. theinfluence of gender differences (male or female) on career choice of senior secondary school students in Kaduna state.

              1.4        Research Questions

The study provided answers to the following questions:

  1. To what extent does emotional concentration nurturing style influence career choiceofsenior secondary school students in Kaduna State?
  2. To what extent does avoidance nurturing style influence career choiceof senior secondary school students in Kaduna state?
  3. To what extent does acceptance nurturing style influence career choice of senior secondary school students in Kaduna state?
  4. How does gender (male or female) influence career choice ofsenior secondary school students in Kaduna state?

              1.5       Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at a 0.05 level of significance:

  1. Emotional concentration nurturing style has no significant influence on career choiceof senior secondary school students in Kaduna state.
  2. Avoidance nurturing style has no significant influence on career choiceof senior secondary school students in Kaduna state.
  3. Acceptance nurturing style has no significant influence on career choice ofsenior secondary school students in Kaduna state.
  4. Gender difference (male or female) has no significant influence on career choice ofsenior secondary school students in Kaduna state.

              1.6       SignificanceoftheStudy

It is hoped that the outcome of this study would be of significance to parents, children, Home Economics educators, school counselors, teachers, students, researchers, society members and the government. How each could benefit was discussed below:

The study will benefit parent to identify specific parental nurturing style that will produce well-rounded individuals with high confidence in subject selection and career choice which could lead to happy life in future. The result will be benefitted to parent through; seminars, workshops and media.The study willbenefit children through enhancing good parents-child relationship/by encouraging monitoring and supporting their career ambition which leads to good career choice. This could be achieved through seminar, enlightenment campaign, youth forum and media.

The outcome of the study could benefit the home economics educators, school counselors and teachers to enable them guide parents, students and society members on the importance of observing children‟s abilities, skills and talent in the choice of career rather than imposing career on them, through symposium, seminar, PTA meeting and workshops.

Policy makers (government) particularly in the education industry will benefit from the study in the area of formulating policies that has to do with parent-child relationship through seminars, conferences and media. This research will add to available literation to students and researchers, who may wish to carry out similar studies, through the use of library. It will also be beneficial to home economics students through seminar, symposium and conferences to prepare themselves for evolving parenting roles taking place in the society for a more purposeful family living.

Implementation of its recommendations by those concerned could lead to producing selfreliant, dedicated and hardworking citizens because once a person‟s career aspiration or interest is supported and encouraged by parents‟ rather than imposing career on them, he/she feels contented, happy and satisfied with their job or occupation in future. Finally, the finding of this study would be significant to society members and the government as it would encourage good parent-child relationship and would enhance good career goal development,hence,curtailing the risk of confusion and overdependence on parents for the choice of career.

              1.7       Basic Assumptions

The study was based on the assumptions that:

  1. Parental nurturing style can guide students in the choice of career.
  2. Career choice of students can be guided by the type of training and support given by parents.
  3. Gender is a factor that directs students‟ career choice.

              1.8       Delimitations of the Study

This study was delimited to parental nurturing styles to focus on emotional concentration, avoidanceand acceptance nurturing styles. It was also delimited to students of Government owned senior secondary schools in Kaduna State. The selection of students from government owned secondary schools was because; the schools share the same characteristics in terms of infrastructure, staffing, classroom settings and curriculum. Senior secondary school students wereused for the study due to the fact that at this stage they have already been placed according to their subject combinations which will lead them to their career choices. Two (2) local government areaswere selected from each of the three senatorial zones. These local government areas are Zaria, and Lere from the Northern Zone, Giwa and Kaduna South from the Central Zone and finally,Kachia and Kafanchan from the Southern Zone. The study was further delimited to two (2)    schools in each of six (6) Local Government Areas out of the twenty three

(23) Local Government Areas in the state. This was done in order to have equal representation.



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