The Effects of Parental Autonomy on the Creation of STEM Career Interests among Upper Secondary Students

Fazilah Razali, Aizuddin Rami, Faiq Aziz


This research paper focuses on the effects of the parent autonomy factor that supports the needs of students in STEM learning and builds the interest of students in STEM careers. This study is a quantitative research study that was conducted using the Questionnaire of the Parental Authority (PAQ). Based on the research objective, the questions in the PAQ were altered to evaluate the effects of parents on student interest in STEM careers and adapted to the purpose of the study. The PAQ comprises a scale of 1-10 ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Research respondents included 419 upper secondary students from national schools in Malaysia, and the research used a proportionate stratified random sampling technique. The research objective is to determine parents’ autonomy towards the development of students’ STEM career interest and the data was analyzed using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). The results found that the autonomy of parents significantly affected upper secondary students in the development of STEM careers of students. The research question was answered by proving that the autonomy of parents is directly significant (p<.001). Results showed that parents explicitly offer meaningful impacts and valuable values to motivate students of the science stream at the secondary level to ensure that their STEM career interests are well nurtured. It is hoped that the findings from this research will provide useful insight into the learners and lead to the value of autonomy of parents in promoting a curriculum design that suits the needs of students in the future.


STEM; Parents; careers; science curriculum; industrial needs; secondary school.


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