The family career development project in Chinese Canadian families

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


<ul><li><p>The family career development project inChinese Canadian families</p><p>Richard A. Young,a,* Jessica Ball,b Ladislav Valach,c</p><p>Hayley Turkel,a and Yuk Shuen Wonga</p><p>a Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education,</p><p>University of British Columbia, 2125 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4b School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 1706, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 2Y1</p><p>c Psychiatric Clinic, University of Zurich, Lenggstrasse, 21, P.O. Box 68, 8029 Zurich, Switzerland</p><p>Received 26 November 2001</p><p>Abstract</p><p>Based on an action-theoretical conceptualization, this research examined the family career</p><p>development project in Chinese Canadian families. Six families, each composed of a parent</p><p>and adolescent, participated in a videotaped conversation to determine a family career devel-</p><p>opment project that was subsequently monitored over a 6-month period and followed up with</p><p>a second videotaped conversation. The further analysis of these data from a larger data set of</p><p>20 Chinese Canadian and European Canadian families resulted in the delineation of several</p><p>properties of the career development project in Chinese Canadian families, including the im-</p><p>portance of the parental agenda, the adolescents involvement, parental communication ofconvincing reasoning, and the adolescents withholding and withdrawing response. The nd-ings also indicated that a family career development was central to other higher order projects</p><p>in the family, including the relationship and cultural projects. The data supported the under-</p><p>standing of project as joint goal-directed action over time and as the basis on which career</p><p>development inuence was organized in these families.</p><p> 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.</p><p>Keywords: Project; Family career development; Communication; Parental; Action theory; Conversation;</p><p>Family; Relationship project; Chinese-Canadian</p><p>*Corresponding author. Fax: +604-822-2328.</p><p>E-mail address: (R.A. Young).</p><p>Journal of Vocational Behavior 62 (2003) 287304</p><p></p><p>0001-8791/03/$ - see front matter 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/S0001-8791(02)00022-2</p></li><li><p>1. Introduction</p><p>Family involvement in the career development of adolescents may be particularly</p><p>salient among Chinese Canadian families. For example, in a review of the literature</p><p>on the career development of Asian Americans, Leong and Seraca (1995) concludedthat Asian-American parents are inclined to provide strong parental guidance, par-</p><p>ticularly in regard to careers. This reects the widely held belief in the social sciences</p><p>generally (e.g., Sue &amp; Morishima, 1982) that the family plays a more central role in</p><p>the lives of Asian Americans than European Americans. For example, parents value</p><p>education highly and hold high educational and occupational expectations for their</p><p>children (Lin &amp; Fu, 1990). They also identify careers in the sciences, technology, and</p><p>engineering as bringing the requisite prestige, income and security (e.g., Leung, Ivey,</p><p>&amp; Suzuki, 1994). Notwithstanding the specic values that these parents hold in rela-tion to the career development of their children, the literature has not described the</p><p>process by which Asian American or Asian Canadian parents and adolescents con-</p><p>vey, react to, and act on these values, expectations, and attitudes.</p><p>The present study examined the career development of Chinese Canadian adoles-</p><p>cents as it was experienced in their families. It was based on the conceptualization of</p><p>the family career development project as the joint activities that parents and adoles-</p><p>cents engage in together to foster the career development of the adolescent (Young,</p><p>Valach, &amp; Collin, 1996). When a series of actions, over time, coalesce around com-mon goals, one may speak of a project. A family career development project is gen-</p><p>erated within a family as part of the parenting and growing up process. It is an</p><p>enterprise carried out by the family itself, oriented toward a goal, and based on</p><p>the denition of a task. This framework expresses a cultural approach to psychology</p><p>(e.g., Bruner, 1990; Cole, 1996), one that grounds the analysis of everyday events on</p><p>action in context, views the emergence of mind as co-constructed, and acknowl-</p><p>edges the central role of interpretation in its explanatory framework. Relatively little</p><p>research has investigated the notion of project in career development and no researchhas conceptualized parental inuence in the career development of their children as a</p><p>socially based, goal-directed family project.</p><p>This study was based on the extended analysis of previously reported data that</p><p>addressed the family career development project in Chinese Canadian and European</p><p>Canadian families (Young et al., 2001). The earlier analysis identied and described</p><p>ve properties of the family career development project: joint goals, communication,</p><p>goals-steps congruence, parental agenda, and individuation. It also found that family</p><p>career development projects were embedded in other on-going family projects in-cluding the relationship, parenting, identity and cultural projects. The present anal-</p><p>ysis examined the Chinese Canadian families specically to elucidate the properties</p><p>of the family career development project for this group of participants. In addition,</p><p>the analysis examined the relation between the family career development project</p><p>and other family projects in which it was embedded, particularly the cultural project.</p><p>Substantial research supports specic values that should be considered in the ca-</p><p>reer development of Chinese Canadian adolescents and the role of the family in it.</p><p>For example, Kim, Atkinson, and Yang (1999) identied 14 domains of Asian</p><p>288 R.A. Young et al. / Journal of Vocational Behavior 62 (2003) 287304</p></li><li><p>values, several of which directly relate to career development and the familys role init. Foremost among these is that educational and occupational achievement should</p><p>be an individuals top priorities. Respect for parents, lial piety, and the importanceof family are other values that are likely to have a direct role in the process of career</p><p>development in Asian families (Chao, 1994).The reasons for migration from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Peoples Republic</p><p>of China (PRC) to North America are complex, but include political and socioeco-</p><p>nomic conditions (Wang, 1998). Ma (2000) found that the Chinese cultural emphasis</p><p>on education underlies the context in which migration decisions are made. Wang</p><p>also found that, among professionals emigrating from the PRC, a shift from collec-</p><p>tivist to individualist ideologies contributed to the explanation of the migration de-</p><p>cision. Thus, one cannot abstract the career development process of parents and</p><p>their adolescent children in immigrant Chinese Canadian families from the contextof emigration from Asia and immigration to Canada.</p><p>Citing Berry (1990, 1994), Kim, Atkinson, and Umemoto (2001) indicated that</p><p>two processes occur simultaneously for ethnic groups in new cultural contexts, encul-</p><p>turation and acculturation. Enculturation refers to the process of retaining cultural</p><p>norms of ones indigenous culture, while acculturation is the process of adopting thenorms of the dominant society. At the same time as processes of enculturation occur,</p><p>Asian Canadian families are to a greater or lesser extent acculturating to North</p><p>American society. For example, Ishii-Kuntz (2000) found that some Asian Americanparents teach their children two overlapping sets of values. Second-generation Chi-</p><p>nese in English language counties showed higher levels of acculturation than their</p><p>parents (Dion &amp; Dion, 1996). Leong and Tata (1990) found that among Chinese</p><p>American children, acculturation to the dominant culture signicantly aected val-</p><p>ues consistent with the European American culture. Parents involvement with theirchildren is related to the processes of acculturation/enculturation. In a qualitative</p><p>study of Chinese immigrant families from Taiwan, Hong Kong and the PRC to</p><p>the United States, Chang (2000) concluded that parents commitment to their chil-dren promoted adaptation, success and prosperity.</p><p>The values, outcome and involvement of Chinese Canadian families related to the</p><p>career development of their children warrant the further examination of the data on</p><p>the Chinese Canadian families in this study. The literature reviewed suggests that ca-</p><p>reer development of adolescents may well involve goal-directed actions over time,</p><p>undertaken conjointly by parents and adolescents. Inasmuch as this literature fo-</p><p>cuses specically on Chinese families who are immigrants to North America, career</p><p>development as joint goal-directed action may have characteristics particular to thisgroup. The researchers (Young et al., 2001) have already established that the family</p><p>career-development project is a heuristic means to understand career development in</p><p>families. In light of our previous identication of the properties of the family career-</p><p>development project, and its embeddedness in other projects, this study addressed</p><p>two questions: What are the specic characteristics of the properties of the family</p><p>career-development project in Chinese Canadian families? What other goals and</p><p>actions, identied as projects, are concomitant with the family career-development</p><p>project in Chinese Canadian families.</p><p>R.A. Young et al. / Journal of Vocational Behavior 62 (2003) 287304 289</p></li><li><p>2. Method</p><p>The qualitative action-project method (Young et al., 2001) guided the collection</p><p>and analysis of data pertinent to a series of joint actions, that is, projects. The gen-</p><p>eral procedure involved the identication of a family career development projectfrom the joint action of a parent and adolescent, in the form of a conversation. This</p><p>project was then monitored for 6 months. This method began with a conceptualiza-</p><p>tion of action as goal-directed, intentional behavior, that we used to frame our ob-</p><p>servations and analysis of the data. During the analysis, we engaged in a hermeneutic</p><p>process that involved continuous interaction between our action-theoretical concep-</p><p>tualization (Young et al., 1996) and the data.</p><p>2.1. Participants</p><p>Six of 20 parentadolescent dyads from the original study were the focus of anal-</p><p>ysis. These dyads had responded to local newspaper advertisements and presenta-</p><p>tions to community groups requesting participants for a research project on career</p><p>development in the family. The six dyads were Chinese Canadian, which, in this case,</p><p>meant that the parent was born in Hong Kong and the adolescent was born in Can-</p><p>ada. The dyads were composed of 3 fatherson, 1 fatherdaughter, 1 motherson,</p><p>and 1 motherdaughter pairs. At the time of entering the study, the parents meanage was 46.5 years (SD 2:25). All families had at least one parent employed.One family was headed by a single parent. The adolescents mean age was 14.3 years(SD 0:81). All the families resided in the metropolitan area of a large Canadiancity. Each participant individually indicated his or her willingness to participate in</p><p>this study, and informed consent was obtained before the data was collected.</p><p>2.2. Procedures</p><p>The data were collected in four distinct stages. First, there was an initial meeting</p><p>between the family dyad and the researchers in which a parentadolescent conversa-</p><p>tion was videotaped and played back for the participants. Second, about 1 month</p><p>later, the family dyad met again with the researchers to receive feedback on their</p><p>videotaped conversation and to identify and negotiate the family career development</p><p>project. Third, this family career development project was monitored for a period of</p><p>six months. Fourth, the family dyad had a nal meeting with the researchers in</p><p>which evaluative data were collected, another parentadolescent conversation wasvideotaped, and the participants were debriefed. The purpose, duration and/or num-</p><p>ber of each of the research procedures are provided in Table 1.</p><p>2.3. Analysis</p><p>The analysis of the data generated at the rst meeting with each dyad was the basis</p><p>for the tentative identication of a family career development project that was subse-</p><p>quently negotiated with the family. The nal analysis was based on the whole data set</p><p>290 R.A. Young et al. / Journal of Vocational Behavior 62 (2003) 287304</p></li><li><p>of each family. The purpose of the nal analysis was to determine and describe the</p><p>progress of the family career development project over the 6-month period. It resulted</p><p>in a narrative description of each family career-development project, which was then</p><p>discussed by the research team to identify the properties of the project and the relation</p><p>of the family career development project to other family projects.</p><p>Using the results of the original analysis as a starting point, that is, the proper-</p><p>ties of the family career development project and the relationship of the family</p><p>Table 1</p><p>Purpose and duration/number of research procedures</p><p>Procedure Purpose Duration/numbera</p><p>M SD n</p><p>Introductory interview Initiate a discussion on</p><p>salient topics</p><p>28.62 11.57 6</p><p>Parentadolescent</p><p>conversation</p><p>Record a conversation 12.96 2.35 6</p><p>Parent self-confrontation Collect data on internal</p><p>processes accompanying</p><p>action</p><p>47.17 13.33 6</p><p>Adolescent</p><p>self-confrontation</p><p>Collect data on internal</p><p>processes accompanying</p><p>action</p><p>42.00 5.41 6</p><p>Joint narrative feedback</p><p>and initial identication</p><p>of family career</p><p>development project</p><p>Negotiate identication</p><p>of family career</p><p>development project</p><p>39.33 20.90 6</p><p>Parent monitoring</p><p>telephone interviews</p><p>Monitor project, actions,</p><p>and internal processes</p><p>9.83b 2.48 6</p><p>Adolescent monitoring</p><p>telephone interviews</p><p>Monitor project, actions,</p><p>and internal processes</p><p>9.17b 2.79 6</p><p>Parent journal entries Monitor project, actions,</p><p>and internal processes</p><p>7.17b 4.75 6</p><p>Adolescent journal entries Monitor project, actions</p><p>and internal processes</p><p>8.83b 6.97 6</p><p>Final introductory</p><p>interview</p><p>Evaluate project 28.17 15.22 6</p><p>Parentadolescent</p><p>conversation</p><p>Record nal parent</p><p>adolescent conversation</p><p>10.67 3.89 6</p><p>Final parent</p><p>self-confrontation</p><p>Collect data on internal</p><p>processes accompanying</p><p>action</p><p>39.33 18.51 6</p><p>Final adolescent</p><p>self-confrontation</p><p>Collect data on internal</p><p>processes accompanying</p><p>action</p><p>35.42 17.79 6</p><p>Parent debrieng interview Debrief participant and</p><p>collect cultural data</p><p>28.88 6.00 6</p><p>Adolescent debrieng</p><p>interview</p><p>Debrief participant and</p><p>collect cultural data</p><p>19.29 8.28 6</p><p>a In minutes, except as noted.bNumber of journal entries or telephone monitoring forms completed.</p><p>R.A. Young et al. / Journal of Vocational Behavior 62 (2003) 287304 291</p></li><li><p>career-development project to other family projects, two of the authors (Young &amp;</p><p>Turkel) conducted this extended analysis for the 6 Chinese Canadian families. The</p><p>complete data set for each family was reviewed jointly, noting and coding common</p><p>properties of the family career-development project for these families as well as the</p><p>identication of other salient projects related to the family career-development pro-ject. In addition, explicit re...</p></li></ul>