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An Explorative Correlational Study of Family Background and Students’ Career Decision Making at Higher Secondary Level in Pakistan

Shah I, Alam A, Khan A. R, Naz A


Family is a primary institution that provides resources to children within household as well as managed children educational choices. The total effect of family background in educational outcomes originates in parents’ endowments, resources and propensity to invest in their children. We examine the effect of family social capital influences on students’ career choices at higher secondary level with a special reference to family structure. Using data collected from eight public and private colleges located in the metropolitan city Karachi, Pakistan. Students were stratified according to their college major and data were collected randomly from 512 students of 11th and 12th grade, who decided about their college major. In line with Coleman’s family social capital theory, the study found that students’ career decisions are family type specific and changes in family structure appear to have an effect on the kind of social capital generated for their children. The analyses further suggest positive coefficient for two dimensions of social capital i.e. family expectations and family as an information channel for nuclear and single parent families’ structure. Students attain more from family social capital in nuclear family arrangement such as, encouragement and support from their family and receive career related information within home environment that help them in making a well-informed career decision-making. The findings imply that, formation of family social capital depends on changes in the family structure. Students are more benefited from the two dimension i.e. family expectations and family as information channel of their family social capital.

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