The Influence of Perception of Parenting Educational Styles on Young People's Vocational Exploration
Vocational exploration is a process that involves a person’s ability to collect, analyze, and interpret information about him/herself and about the academic and professional world (Pinto, 2010; Taveira, 1997). This process is influenced by the life contexts in which the person is inserted, namely, the family, the peer groups, and the academic, economic, political, social, and cultural situation (Almeida, 2011). According to the literature (e.g., Faria, Taveira, & Pinto, 2007; Pinto & Soares, 2000), parents are one of the most important reference groups for the children, having the ability to influence their beliefs, behaviors, and reactions about the vocational exploration process. Among the different variables associated with parent-child interactions, parenting educational styles seem to constitute a dimension of parental behavior with the ability to influence the behavior of young people (Barbosa-Ducharne, Cruz, Large & Martin, 2006).
This study aims to examine the influence of parenting educational style perception on the vocational exploration of youth. We present an exploratory study aimed to compare the results in terms of beliefs, behaviors, and reactions associated with the vocational exploration process in adolescents whose parents have educational styles more or less responsive and demanding. Participants were 296 students, 109 (36.82%) girls and 187 (63.18%) boys, aged between 15 and 23 years (M=3.17; DP=1.45). These young people are attending the 10th, 11th, and 12th years of regular and professional educational institutions in the district of Leiria. We used the Career Exploration Survey (CES; Stumpf, Colarelli & Hartman, 1983; adapt. by Taveira, 1997) and the Parental Style Questionnaire (QEEP; Lamborn, Mounts, Steinberg & Dornbusch, 1991; adapt. by Ducharne Barbosa, Cruz, Large & Martin, 2006), to evaluate the vocational exploration process, and the parenting educational styles, respectively.
Results indicate that girls understand their parents as adopting a style of education with more demanding. They also have more self and environment instrumental beliefs and more self-exploratory behaviors. Students from the 12th grade and students from professional schools understand their parents as being more responsive. Students from the 11th grade are those who have more certainty about the effectiveness of their exploratory behavior, and also a greater satisfaction with the quantity and quality of the exploration process. A more demanding style of education seems to positively influence the beliefs and behaviors of vocational exploration.
Implications are drawn for the vocational intervention process with youth.
Keywords: vocational exploration, parenting educational styles, influence, adolescents.