Parental involvement on their children’s education and career decision making: Impact on educational expectation

Pui Chi Chrysa KEUNG, Esther Sui Chu HO

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


A substantial body of research supports the notion that parental involvement generally contributes to child’s academic or affective outcomes. However, most studies are largely based on traditionally defined parents involvement activities at home (e.g. monitoring child performance, communicating with child about academic and socio-cultural topics) and in school (e.g. participating in PTA activities, being volunteer in school events). Little have been done to examine the effect of specific forms of parental involvement in shaping children’s career and educational decision making. In addition to general forms of parental involvement activities, providing support in helping children on making decision towards education and career are seen as an important component in adolescents’ transition pathways. These types of involvement may include activities about discussing with child on future careers, attending education and careers seminars, visiting tertiary institutions, helping them to identify possible barriers and set educational goals, and so on. The present study aims at filling the knowledge gap of existing literature by expanding the forms of parental involvement to include some activities that are specifically related to support children’s future orientation towards education and career pathways.

This paper attempts to identify different forms of parental involvement and its impact on shaping their children’s educational expectation. A total of 2000 parents completed a survey capturing general and specific forms of parental involvement. The logistic regression model was conducted to examine to what extent family socioeconomic background, family resources and various forms of parental involvement predict children’s expectation of pursuing university degree. In particular, the relative contributions of general forms of involvement at home and in school versus specific forms of involvement related to career and education decision making on adolescents’ education expectation were clarified.

Results indicated that, for the general form of parental involvement, “social communication” with their children at home had significant positive relationship with children’s expectation on going to university, even after family SES background and resources were controlled. Specific forms of parental involvement, including providing concrete ideas on occupation information, setting goals for educational destinations, and communicating with other parents and school teachers, were also emerged as the salient factors influencing children’s expectation to university. This findings show some interesting and significant implications to policy makers and school program organizers for offering parental support, in term of providing parents and teachers with more pathway information, so that parents can be empowered to support children on decision making of future paths to post-secondary education. Copyright © 2015 ERNAPE-ARCTIC.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


Keung, P. C. C., & Ho, S. C. E. (2015, August). Parental involvement on their children’s education and career decision making: Impact on educational expectation. Paper presented at The 10th conference of the European Research Network About Parents in Education (ERNAPE-ARCTIC 2015), Tromsø, Norway.


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