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Parental Involvement and the Impact of Fathers on the Education and Career Aspirations of Emirati Youth

Education and employment are key pillars to the United Arab Emirate’s Vision 2021 and National Agenda, in part based on a competitive knowledge economy. To better support policymakers regarding the complexities surrounding education and career related topics, this study explores the roles of parents, and in particular, fathers, in their children’s education and career aspirations. Research has shown that both academic achievement and career success are influenced by the involvement of parents throughout their child’s education; in fact, quality parental involvement in a child’s academic and non-academic life can impact self-esteem, as well as learning outcomes and long-term career success. Based on existing research, and with the nation’s future in mind, this study was carried out using a survey instrument to collect responses from upper secondary students, along with semi structure interviews for additional insights from students, teachers, and school administrators. We find Emirati parents to be extremely supportive and encouraging of their child’s education, despite fathers not being regularly involved in students’ education. Other findings indicate that students are interested in pursuing careers that align with their father’s. Policy recommendations relating to these and other findings include creating father-specific events in schools; addressing barriers to parental involvement and lifelong learning; engaging families to improve the level of education amongst parents; and providing comprehensive education and career counseling guided by research.

Recommended citation: Ridge, N., Dingus, D., & Han, S. (2020). Parental Involvement and the Impact of Fathers on the Education and Career Aspirations of Emirati Youth (Policy Paper No. 43). Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.

DOI: Forthcoming

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