CAREER DECISION-MAKING AND CULTURAL VALUES OF STUDENTS FROM THE NORTHEAST OF BRAZIL
Sa, Michele Lima
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Deciding on a career can be a challenging process for high school students, and this process might be influenced by national culture. For instance, recent cross-cultural studies pointed that family influences on career choice were far more present in students from countries in Asia than in students from England and the United States (Diguan & Santos, 2007; Fan et al, 2014; Liao & Ji, 2015). Although such research is valuable, other countries around the world are seldom investigated with a cultural focus, and this is particularly true for research conducted in developing countries. In addition, research on career decision-making usually does not involve a direct measure of cultural values. In fact, recent research on career decision-making has focused on features of collectivism, but other cultural factors do not appear to be investigated as often. With this in mind, the goal of this research was to investigate the career decision-making difficulties of Brazilian students, as this relates to measures of cultural values. An additional goal was to identify the most prominent career difficulties of a group of students in the city of Recife, Brazil. Results indicated that, as hypothesized, lack of readiness to make a decision was the most prominent difficulty among students. Cultural values such as collectivism and masculinity were significantly related to career decision-making difficulties in the overall sample. However, additional analyses revealed that the relationship between cultural values and career decision-making difficulties differed between boys and girls. Long-term orientation, collectivism, and masculinity were significantly related to career decision-making difficulties in the sample of boys, but only masculinity was significantly related to career difficulties in the sample of girls. Implications of these findings as well as future directions for research were further discussed.