Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Herbert Saltzstein

Subject Categories

Asian Studies | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Counseling Psychology | Counselor Education | Developmental Psychology | Liberal Studies | Social Psychology | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


parents, Asian-Americans, Chinese-Americans, second generation, career development, vocational interest, parental influence, immigrant culture


A large body of literature supports the claim that the role of parents in shaping Asian-American youth's career development is significant (Leong & Serafica, 1995; Leong & Hardin, 2002; Yuan, 2012; Sandhu, 2017; Qin, 2011). When considering the family impact on Asian-Americans’ vocational choices, researchers should examine the phenomena through culturally specific lens so that variables that are more cultural relevant are captured. This is a pilot study with the goal to provide a preliminary understanding of the ways in which first-generation Chinese immigrant parents influence the choice and development of a career to their second-generation young adult children. In this pilot study, I utilized qualitative research by using semi-structured, open-ended interview questions for both parents and adult-age children. Consensual qualitative research (Hill et al., 1997) was used to analyze all participants’ answers qualitatively. Tentative findings demonstrate that five categories were prominent in how the Chinese-American family is influential in the career decision-making of their children: familial/cultural expectations, perceived parents’ career expectations, emotional support, financial and instrumental support, and parent-child conflict. Limitations and future directions were also discussed.