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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Family environment and young adults' evaluations of parental influences in career development : an exploratory study Mitchell, Dan L.


As an adjunct to the ongoing research of Young and Friesen (1986), this study explores the interrelatedness of family environment and young adults' evaluations of parental influences in children's career development. One hundred and fifty-six subjects, aged 18 to 25, completed demographic questionnaires and the Family Environment Scale (Moos & Moos, 1986). In addition, subjects were randomly assigned to complete one of four Q sorts to evaluate parental influences in children's career development. One of the resulting four subsamples (n = 41) was selected for factor analysis and qualitative analysis according to Q technique as described by Talbott (1971). Factor analysis of this subsample yielded four "person factors". Based on analysis of variance and chi-square analysis, socioeconomic status and gender differences between the person factors were found to be nonsignificant. As well, chi-square analysis revealed that family environment types (Billings & Moos, 1982) and person factors were unrelated. These findings were replicated using a second subsample of 39 subjects. Although none of the variables were found to be significantly related, the qualitative analysis of the person factors led to the following conclusions: 1. The research methodology employed holds promise for further ecological research on career development, particularly because of its versatility in addressing both process and outcome variables. 2. Interactions between interpersonal variables and subjects' perspectives regarding the importance of these variables may deepen our understanding of (career) development. 3. Suggestions for future research are proposed. However, validation and clarification of the person factors is a necessary preliminary step. 4. Speculation is offered as to the long range benefits of this line of research to parents and career counsellors.

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