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Title: Family impact on Asian American’s career choice
Author(s): Qin, Xuhua
Director of Research: Rounds, James
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Rounds, James
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Spanierman, Lisa B.; Okazaki, Sumie; Rooney, Gail
Department / Program: Educational Psychology
Discipline: Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Asian American
Career decision
Family influence
Intergeneration conflict
Family obligation
Perceived opportunity
Abstract: Based on census data, Asian Americans are overrepresented in some occupations (e.g. science, professional, and technology) while being underrepresented in others (e.g., production, entertaining, social and humanistic field). Recent scholarship shows that vocational interests are less related to Asian American’s career choice. Asian American might choose their career based on their family’s mission rather on their own interests, which may lead to occupational incongruence. Family influence on Asian Americans’ career development and career choice has been less studied, despite acknowledgements of its importance. What are good indicators for family influence and how these indicators separately (or as a whole) impact Asian Americans are still unclear. Based on literatures, three cultural specific indicators (intergeneration conflict, family obligation, and perceived opportunities) were chosen for further examination. The purpose of the present study was to provide empirical evidence on how these three variables impact Asian American young adults’ career choice and occupational congruence. The present study was also aimed at examining the current pattern of occupational segregation among Asian Americans. 249 Asian Americans completed a questionnaire regarding their career choice and family influence. The results indicated that intergenerational conflicts and perceived opportunity was negatively associated with interest-choice congruence, and they functioned as a barrier to career choice. Family obligation, instead, functioned as a positive contributing factor to interest-choice congruence. In addition, participants’ reported majors and preferred occupations were coded into RIASEC categories. The patterns of selected majors and preferred occupations reflected occupational segregation. Interest-choice congruence was significantly higher in atypically represented majors (Artistic, Social major) than in traditionally over represented majors (Realistic, Investigative, and Enterprising major). These findings provided evidence for Relative Functionalism proposed by Sue and Okazaki (1990). Finally, significant results were found for congruence and its correlation with family variables across acculturation, generation status, RIASEC major/occupation, gender, and parents’ education. The meaning of these research findings to occupational segregation and other considerations were discussed.
Issue Date: 2010-08-20
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16702
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Xuhua Qin
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-08-20
Date Deposited: 2010-08


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