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INFLUENCE OF AGE, GENDER AND SCHOOL LOCATION ON MOTIVATION FOR OCCUPATIONAL PREFERENCE AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AKWA IBOM STATE
The study examined the influence of age, sex, school location and motivation for occupational preference among senior secondary school students in AkwaIbom state. The sample for the study consisted of 369 drawn from fourteen (14) senior secondary schools (7 schools were located in the Urban Area, while another 7 in the rural area). The sampled size was randomly selected from a population of 9000 students. A standard instrument called motivation for occupational preference scale was used for data collection. The instrument has four variables (external influence, extrinsic reward, self-expression and people-oriented value) as motivations for occupation. The independent variables of age, sex and school location were used to test their influence on each of the motivations for occupational preference variable mentioned above. The ex-post facto design was used as a research design. The twelve (12) null hypotheses formulated were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Analysis of Variable (ANOVA) was used in testing hypotheses 1, 2, 3 and 4, while independent t-test was used in testing hypotheses 5-12. The result showed that all the null hypotheses were retained. It was found that age, gender and school location had no significant influence on motivation for occupational preference. On the basis of the finding, it was recommended that existing guidance and counseling centres in school should organize career oriented programme towards motivating students to appropriate occupations relevant to their abilities and interest.
1.1 Background to the Study
One of the most insistent series of problems confronting young people today is that of preferring a career, preparing for it, finding a job, liking it and keeping it. Perhaps the most crucial sequence is liking the occupation since it constitute on one hand a test of rightness, and on the other hand indication of the likelihood of keeping the job. In addition since an employed person would spend most of his alert part of his life at work, liking the occupation and getting satisfaction are important motivation considerations. Motivation is a drive that energizes an individual to act, behave and take decisions. The end product of schooling life is work, ands what motivates an individual to prefer an occupation include human needs. Since human needs vary from person to person, their motivation on occupational preference would be different. In Africa and indeed Nigeria, societies view individual‘s age with importance and associate certain developmental tasks to it. The same goes for gender (male/female), (Edet, 2010). Many studies on occupational preference, choice, aspiration etc mostly involved graduates either from secondary schools or tertiary institutions (colleges of education, polytechnics, monotechnics, and universities.) but little is known of the likely motivation that would influence senior secondary school students concerning occupation and the world of work, little wonder then why most of them readily accept any job available irrespective of their interest, potentials, needs etc. after completing school. Presently, there is an assumption that secondary school students would prefer scientific oriented occupation (medicine and surgery, nursing, pharmacy, etc) than conventional
–oriented occupation (book-keeping, agriculture etc), this is an issue because the type of occupation people engage upon determines many thing in that society, Sandra, (2002).
When an individual is stable, well-adjusted and satisfied in his or her preferred occupation, the society experiences less tension. This is because an individual‘s motives for preferring and
subsequently choosing a career directly or indirectly models his lifestyle and attitude thereby affecting his core-values, ethics and goal in the society, Synder, (2002). Another issue of note is the saying that environment influences people. It means that people who live in rural communities might think, act, or prefer differently from those who live in the urban areas. Does this assumption include secondary school students? Do students who live and attend school in the rural areas have different motives from those who live and attend school in the urban areas concerning preference for occupation? Daniel, (2003) added that educators, parents and other stakeholders in children education have a duty to educate the young people in an engaging and realistic format especially on issues concerning life-long occupation, rather than leave them to their own devices. Secondary school students (youths) are still in their formation stage when individual suppose to mature physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and intellectually. Some adolescents and young adults gradually mature with a sense of self-perception, identity and personality. Some do establish social norms and patterns of behavior through self-exploration and inter-relationship with peers. Results from the chain of events have led some adolescents in school to chart a responsible and responsive life-order, with ambitions job preferences. Others (without proper exposure to their potentials) have ended up more confused and frustrated concerning ―who they are‖ and ―what they want to be‖ in life. Some youth are tempted to behave that male are naturally better than female in everything. Such people have come to accept that the issue of gender gap is real and closing it will jeopardize distinction and compromise hard work (merit). A 2014 poll in the united kingdom found that more than half (54%) of people polled could not mention a female scientist even when scientists think (through research) that women would be better in sciences and science related profession than their male counterpart.
Today, young people (male and female) from different age range have different motivation for different needs. One of such need is the need to be successful in life through a given
vocation. There is a common conception that adolescents are fond of mentioning such occupations as medicine and surgery, law, engineering, e.t.c as first line of job preference, Sandra (2002). Educationists, psychologists and some parents seem to be worried, as they observe that most students do not make realistic job preferences. Some people argue that students between the ages of 0-12 get influenced by what others around them want or like. These early adolescents are still in their infancy stage of maturity; hence their likeness or dislike for occupation is in a state of flux. Those between the ages of 13-19years tend to be careful in their preferences for occupations because some of them are able to associate their future satisfaction, happiness and greatness of the type of type of job they would engage after schooling. Those students above 19years of age tend to show a greater understanding of who and what they intend to be. It is often observed that students in the rural areas are not pre-disposed to adequate information on occupation and the requisite requirements for even those ones they want to go into. All they are interested is just to choose any occupation.
Synder, (2002) revealed that some people do argue that students in the rural areas and students from the urban areas have a singular item that determine what they prefer to become in future and this is termed motivation. The issue of motivation for occupations, some people argue, differ for certain groups, sex age and location. Therefore, some parents say that the gender of a child constitutes a motivation towards occupational preference. Others also argue that students from the urban and rural areas have different indices of motivation for jobs. Whether all these views are tenable remain a matter concern in the academic domain.
It is important therefore to distinguish the type(s) of motivation that influence students of different age range to occupation and to find out the type of occupations they prefer. Moreso, it is important to find out whether there is a paradigm shift in the motivation for occupation by students who attend urban secondary schools and their counterparts in who attend schools in the
rural areas. It may still remain a matter of mental conjecture till a study of this nature is properly carried out.
1.2 Statement of problem
Certain occupations have peculiar appeal to students of various ages, and gender irrespective of the environment (urban/rural) they attend school. This may be due to the motives or value orientation students attached to occupations. For instance while some people get attracted to the medical profession because of their dressing pattern with stethoscope around their neck, others prefer to be doctors just because of their passion to save lives (people-oriented value), others might prefer the same career because of the prestige the society attaches to it, as a leading profession that conveys leadership. Many students often prefer such occupation because they believe they possess the intellectual abilities (self-expression value) while others make the same preference based on the remuneration and good working condition, Daniel, (2003). There may be reasons why one occupation is preferred by students for different purposes irrespective of compatibility between their personal motive for occupation and sex, age and where they attended school. The reasons for this incongruence may be due to: age, sex of the students, the influence of parents, extrinsic-reward, and individual potential for self-expression and people-oriented job inclination.
Therefore proper understanding of students‘ preference pattern on occupation and their motives would assist psychologists and educational counselors on how to modify and guide the behavior of students properly for effective occupational preference. Thus the essence of this study is to find out whether age, sex, and school location influence students‘ motivation for occupational preference.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study include:
- To find the influence of age on;
- External influence as a motivation towards occupational preference.
- Extrinsic – reward – oriented value.
- Self-expression value
- People-oriented value.
- To find the influence of male and female gender (sex) on;
- External influence
- Extrinsic-reward oriented valued
- People-oriented value
- To find the influence on school location (rural/urban) and
- External influence.
- Extrinsic reward value
- People oriented value.
- Self-expression value as motivation for occupational preference.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study in finding out whether age, sex and school location have relationship with motivation for occupational preference:
- Is there any difference in motivation for occupational preference between students of different age?
- Is there any difference in motivation for occupational preference between male and female gender.
- Is there any difference in motivation for occupational preference between students urban location and those from rural location.
To answer these research questions, twelve (12) null hypotheses were formulated. That is, for each research question, four (4) corresponding hypotheses were formulated for testing.
Hypothesis 1: There is no significant age difference on external influence as a motivation for occupational influence.
Hypothesis 2: There is no significant age difference on extrinsic-reward value as a motivation for occupational preference.
Hypothesis 3: There is no significant age difference on self expression orientation value as a motivation for occupational preference.
Hypothesis 4: There is no significant age difference in people- oriented value as a motivation for occupational preference.
Hypothesis 5: There is no significant difference on external influence as a motivation for occupational preference between student from urban and rural schools.
Hypothesis 6: There is no significant difference on extrinsic reward value as a motivation for occupational preferences between students from urban and rural schools.
Hypothesis 7: There is no significant difference on self expression value as a motivation for occupational preference between students from urban and rural schools.
Hypothesis 8: There is no significant difference in people oriented value as a motivation for occupational preference between students from urban and rural schools.
Hypothesis 9: There is no significant gender difference on external influence as a motivation for occupational preferences.
Hypothesis 10: There is no significant gender difference on extrinsic-reward value as a motivation for occupational preference.
Hypothesis 11: There is no significant gender difference on self expression value as a motivator for occupational preference.
Hypothesis 12: There is no significant gender difference on people oriented value as a motivation for occupational preference.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
In undertaking this research certain assumption were made to guide the researcher.
- Age is a major factor in most decision making especially when it involves a life-long endeavour such as occupation, marriage e.t.c.. Age is a function of time, experience, intellectual and personal development. Therefore a student in the fantasy age (0-11) will differ in his or her job preference from another student in the realistic age or stage.
Ginzberg and his associates observed that occupational or career preference is a developmental process that is determined by four factors, namely, individual values (value-orientation), emotional factors, education and the impact or influence of one‘s environment.
- An individual‘s environment (rural/urban) have significant influence on one‘s motivation, and subsequent occupational preference. Therefore students in the urban secondary schools are predisposed to various occupations and career information than their counterparts who attend schools in the rural area.
- Male gender (student) would likely prefer jobs with high extrinsic reward value while female students are motivated to prefer occupations having people-oriented values such as teaching, nursing.
1.7 Significance of the Study
Findings of the study shall benefit senior secondary school students because it will highlight those psychological (needs, interest, aptitude, intelligence e.t.c) and non psychological (culture, family e.t.c) factors that should be considered before or during occupational preference. Such factors serve as motivators towards one‘s satisfaction and productivity in the world of work.
Teachers may use the test instrument of this study as a measure of self-evaluation for students in relation to preferring or choosing an occupation. Government and educational planners would find the result of this study useful on curriculum planning because the motivation pattern of students would be clearer.
Educationists and guidance counselors could use the motivation for occupational preference scale instrument to administer annual test to students with a view to cross-checking the changes (if any) in their motivation for jobs as they (students) progress from SS I to SS II and SS II such findings could assist career counselors on a better approach for guidance and counseling.
1.8 Scope and Delimitation
Although many researchers focus their studies on the academic achievement, socio-economic status etc, this study is limited to the three age groups of senior secondary schools as suggested by Ginzberg. This includes senior secondary school student‘s age between 0-11yrs (period of fantasy stage), 11-18yrs (period of tentative preference), 19 through adulthood (period of realistic stage).
The scope is limited to senior secondary school students schooling in the rural communities and those attending school in the urban area. Students from the junior secondary schools are excluded because they have limited or no preference concerning occupation and the world of work. They are mostly in their fantasy period of reasoning.
Anything that catches their fancy is a good preference today, the following day it may change to a different vocational preference. Denga (1983) opined that their awareness and preference for occupation is in a state of constant flex.