Associations of Parental Variables and Youth’s Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy: A Meta-Analysis

Siu ming To, Lei Yang, Cheryl Danielle Lau, Cheong wing Victor Wong, Xuebing Su

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Despite extensive research on career decision-making self-efficacy (CDMSE) in relation to youth’s career development and outcomes, the relative influence of different parental variables on youth’s CDMSE remains relatively unclear. Thus, this meta-analysis sought to compare correlational findings concerning the influence of three types of parental variables—parental cognitions, parenting behaviors, and parent–child relationships—on youth’s CDMSE. This meta-analysis also aimed to examine differences in how maternal influences only, paternal influences only, and the influence of both parents are associated with youth’s CDMSE. A systematic search for relevant literature was conducted in six scientific databases (i.e., ERIC, PsycINFO, Social Sciences Citation Index, Social Services Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts, and Social Work Abstracts) and other sources (i.e., Google Scholar and reference searching), which yielded 27 quantitative studies from 3529 records on parental factors of youth’s CDMSE published between 1983 and 2020. The results showed that all three types of parental variables demonstrated a low to medium association with youth’s CDMSE, although parental cognitions had the largest effect size (r = 0.312; 95% CI [0.217, 0.407]), followed by parenting behaviors (r = 0.303; 95% CI [0.248, 0.359]) and parent–child relationships (r = 0.255; 95% CI [0.226, 0.284]). The effect size for the influences of both parents (r = 0.312; 95% CI [0.264, 0.359]) was found to be larger than that of maternal (r = 0.256; 95% CI [0.216, 0.296]) or paternal influences (r = 0.230; 95% CI [0.186, 0.275]) alone. Those results pose important implications and indicate promising directions for research and practice to improve parenting about young people’s career development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2021


  • Career decision-making self-efficacy
  • Meta-analysis
  • Parental cognitions
  • Parenting behaviors
  • Parent–child relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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