PARENTS-PEERS RELATIONSHIP ON THE CAREER CHOICE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ETIM EKPO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF AKWA IBOM STATE
There is an increasing body of knowledge which discusses young people (adolescents) and the various factors that influence their career choice within and outside the school. Among the factors that have been found to be relevant in differentiating career and educational attainments are parental aspirations, parental level of education income and occupation, community of residence of parents and their children and friendship networks of adolescents (Balan, 1968:152, Denga 1968:13, Nwagu 1976, 113, Durojaije, 1972; 78, 1Paje: 1986:211).
2.1 Theoretical Framework
Walberge (1969:153) indicated that variations in academic performance and careers of children depends on their parental relationship. Also, Denga (1983:33), on career development needs states that “students with professional advice and training have a better chance of having jobs”. It, therefore, becomes necessary for students to study courses which have employment prospects in the labour market, students should chose appropriate subjects guided by parents and teachers.
On the relationship of peer group on career choice, Chukwu (1987:78) stresses that most adolescents measure their success in choosing a career in terms of recognition by peer groups. In support of peer group influence on career choice, Onyejiaku (1991:230) maintains that adolescent vocational choice are quite often influenced by peer group.
In addition to the above assertions, a background for examining the relationship of parents and peers on career choice could be provided by surveying briefly the major related fundamental theories and principles which inform career choices among adolescents.
2.1.1 Hyppock’s Theory
Hoppock (1967) as quoted by Objejiaku (1991:243) developed one of the most influential theories of career choice. His needs theory emphasizes that occupation are chosen to meet needs. Every person has real or imagined needs and occupations are selected to meet these needs.
However, needs are not static and occupational choices may change as individual needs change. This change is brought about by the individual better understanding of himself as well as knowledge of the demands and characteristics of several occupations. This theory implies that adolescents choose careers based on pay packets, and other fringe benefits that will enable them meet their materials needs.
2.1.2 Trait and Factor Theory
Trait and factor theory of vocational choice was propounded by persons (1909), Onyejiaku (1991:240). This theory stresses the relationship of individual personal characteristics to his selection of a career, put simply, an individual compares his capabilities and dispositions with those demanded by occupations and select the one he matches best.
2.1.3 Holland’s Theory
Holland theory (1966), Onyejiaku (1991:224) is based on personality types or patterns of personal development and adjustment. He developed six personality types, namely: realistic, intellectual, social conventional, enterprising and artistic. Holland emphasized the relationship of these types to people’s career choice. He stresses that an individual selects a career by matching his self conception of his personal characteristics with stereotyped conceptions of various jobs he feels suited to his personality.
2.1.4 Bordin’s Theory
The theory of Bordin et al (1963), Onyekiaku (1991:246) was based on psycho-analytic framework. The theory emphasized that the needs of individual’s early childhood experiences which are fully established by the age or sex. The theory postulates that an individual would chose a career that would gratify his early childhood needs unless he is prevented to do so by cultural, socio-economic or other factors.
Both hoppock’s and bordin’s theories stress the fact that occupations and careers are chosen in order to meet basic needs. With these points, parents and peers pressurize adolescent to choose careers which earn them good salaries and fringe benefits that will enable them meet their material needs and guarantee the socio-economic stability of their family in future. On the other hand, it is true that most parents and peers know the personality traits and abilities of their children and friends on school academic work. More often than not, they tend to wield enormous influence on them to go unto prestigious careers they have capabilities in conformity with Holland and trait theories.
In the light of the above, it is clear that poverty is not cherished by anyone and one of the ways of avoiding it is that adolescents should properly select careers which will fetch them good jobs and salaries that will meet their basic needs in the society. This has been the principal factor necessitating parental and peer relationship on career choice of adolescents.