PARENTAL PARTICIPATION IN ADOLESCENTS’ EDUCATIONAL AND CAREER EXPERIENCES AND PLANNING: A STUDY WITH PORTUGUESE PARENTS
The role of parents in adolescents’ educational and career development is widely acknowledged. Parental influence in these processes includes parenting styles, parental support, warmth and closeness between parents and their children, attachment to parents, communication patterns in the family, and parents’ expectations and aspirations for their children’s achievement. In addition, recent literature suggests that youngster’s school and career paths are co-constructed through parents’ and adolescents’ joint actions with common goals. This work explores parental involvement in adolescents’ educational and career experiences and planning. A sample of 346 parents (165 mothers and 181 fathers; Mage= 43.8 years; SD= 5.51) of adolescents in eighth-grade completed a questionnaire (Pinto & Soares, 2000; adapted for research from Taveira et al., 2002) about parent-child communication, parental support, and parental expectations for their offspring’s educational and professional future. Results present a description of mothers’ and fathers’ perceptions of the contents and goals of their conversations with their adolescent children, the joint activities they are involved in and the resources they provide to them, and parental goals for their children’s educational and career achievement. Implications for educational and career guidance are discussed. Finally, the family environment is suggested as a powerful context of children’s and adolescent’s career planning and ethical reasoning about their own educational and career purposes.