Restrictive reciprocal obligations: perceptions of parental role in career choices of sub-Saharan African migrant youths

Akosah-Twumasi, Peter, Emeto, Theophilus I., Lindsay, Daniel, Tsey, Komla, and Malau-Aduli, Bunmi S. (2021) Restrictive reciprocal obligations: perceptions of parental role in career choices of sub-Saharan African migrant youths. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. 576193.

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This study employed interpretivist, grounded theory method and utilized semi-structured interviews to explore how 31 African migrant high school and university students from eight sub-Saharan African representative countries and currently residing in Townsville, Australia, perceived the roles of their parents in their career development. The study findings revealed that the support (financial, social and emotional) and encouragement (sacrificial love, role modeling and guidance) received from parents underpinned the youths’ perceptions of their parents as influential in their career trajectories. Though participants acknowledged their indebtedness to parents and the system that nurtured them, they faced a dilemma conforming to parental preference or personal conviction, which presented “a fork in the career decision-making road.” Study findings indicate that participants’ reactions and strategies for negotiating parental approval differ based on entry status and gender. Most participants, particularly those with professional entry status, conformed to their parents’ career choice for fear of failure, while a few who followed their personal interests negotiated parental approval through dialogue and educating parents. Male participants with humanitarian entry status opposed their parents’ career preferences and followed their own personal interests. Taken together, all participants had strong desire to obtain parental approval and whether sought early or later, the main focus for all participants was prioritizing family needs and obligations. The practical implications of these findings for all stakeholders are discussed.

Item ID: 69261
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-1078
Keywords: sub-Saharan Africa, migrants, youths, career choice, family needs, parental expectations
Copyright Information: © 2021. Akosah-Twumasi, Emeto, Lindsay, Tsey and Malau-Aduli. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2021 03:28
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3902 Education policy, sociology and philosophy > 390201 Education policy @ 60%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4299 Other health sciences > 429999 Other health sciences not elsewhere classified @ 20%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5299 Other psychology > 529999 Other psychology not elsewhere classified @ 20%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1304 Heritage > 130401 Assessment of heritage value @ 30%
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130201 Communication across languages and culture @ 40%
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160399 Teaching and curriculum not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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