|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 36-39
Role models and occupational ambitions of in-school male adolescents
Suhail Ahmad Azmi1, Anees Ahmad2, Najam Khalique2, Zulfia Khan2
1 Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Date of Web Publication||18-Nov-2014|
Department of Community Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh - 202 001, Uttar Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
| Abstract|| |
Background: A role model is perceived as worthy of imitation, their selection can indicate significant elements of psychosocial health and self-projection in adolescents. Patterns of behavior and lifestyle choices established during adolescence can have immediate and lasting effects on health. Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional study was undertaken in the schools of Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. The sample frame was 2347, out of which a sample of 390 students was studied. Data collected were entered and analyzed by SPSS for Windows version 10%). Results: Majority (62.7%) of adolescents revealed that their role models were Film Star (34.8%) and their Teachers (27.9%), Parents (14.3%), Sportsman (12.0%). Politicians as the role models were opted by least proportion (1.2%). Desire of future occupation was Businessmen (27.9%), Doctor (18.6), and Engineer (14.4%). Conclusion: Nearly all adolescents had a role model. There is greater impact of cinema on the minds of adolescents, which resulted in choosing film actors as their role model. Aspiration of future occupation was not related to the characteristics of the role model.
Keywords: Ambitions, adolescents, occupational ambitions, role models, school
|How to cite this article:|
Azmi SA, Ahmad A, Khalique N, Khan Z. Role models and occupational ambitions of in-school male adolescents. Ind Psychiatry J 2014;23:36-9
The term role model generally means any "person who serves as an example, whose behavior is emulated by others".  The term first appeared in Robert K. Merton's socialization research of medical students.  Merton hypothesized that individuals compare themselves with reference groups of people who occupy the social role to which the individual aspires. 
Since a role model is perceived as worthy of imitation, their selection can indicate significant elements of psychosocial health and self-projection in adolescents. The characteristics of role models have changed drastically because of exposure to contemporary social networks and media. Peer pressure, in addition, may mount huge social pressures that can influence adolescent behavior.
Patterns of behavior and lifestyle choices established during adolescence can have immediate and lasting effects on health. Teenage smoking, excessive drinking, and drug use, for example, are strongly linked to an array of important health outcomes later in life, including cardiovascular disease and stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, substance abuse, and depression-conditions currently among the leading contributors to premature disability and preventable death in the United States. ,
During adolescence, individuals begin to plan for their future career by considering a number of occupational choices.  Recent research has shown that interests continue to play a primary role in the selection and rejection of occupations throughout childhood.  Initially, career preferences may consist of "fantasy" choices;  adolescents may taper their choices as they grow and develop a realistic sense of choosing a future occupation. ,
A number of external factors have been found to influence adolescents' career aspirations, including gender, parental influence, socioeconomic status, and early school experiences.  The role of gender in adolescent occupations has been given much attention.  The review of literature on the current topic reveals that there are not many studies that can highlight the current trend of accepted role models of adolescents and their occupational desires. This study may supplement further studies based on the impact of role models in the career choices of adolescents in the present scenario. Thus, the present study was planned for male adolescents in school settings with the aims to analyze the variability of role models in rural and urban in-school adolescents and to know their occupational ambitions.
| Materials and methods|| |
The cross-sectional study was undertaken in the schools located within the registered rural and urban field practice areas of the Department of Community Medicine, JNMC, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. The total population of male adolescents (10-19 yrs) in all the schools was 2347, out of which a sample of 410 students (205 from the rural schools and 205 from the urban schools) were selected using Probability Proportionate to Size sampling (PPS). Only 390 students cooperated in the study. The sample size was calculated using the formula,
Sample size = (1.96) 2 PQ/L 2
Where Prevalence (P) = 20%, Q = (1−P) Precision (L) = 4%
The study tools consisted of a self-developed, pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire arranged in two parts. The first part of the questionnaire dealing with the child's sociodemographic background was accomplished by the interviewer, and the second part had a section of aspirations and desires of adolescents including their role models and their future choice of career. All participants were reassured about their anonymity by instructing them to avoid writing their names and class section on the questionnaires.
Socioeconomic class was calculated using a modified form of Prasad's Classification of per capita income.  Data collected were entered and analyzed by SPSS for Windows version 10. Simple percentages [Table 1] and Chi-Square Test of statistical significance was used for analysis [Table 2] and [Table 3].
| Results|| |
Sociodemographic characteristics of adolescents
Most of the study population was in their early (10-13 yrs) and mid-teens (14-15 yrs), Hindu, lower to middle socioeconomic status, and living in unitary families with more than 5 family members [Table 1] .
Role models of in-school adolescents
Adolescents responded to the question regarding the presence of a role model in their lives with a near total majority (95.9%). Overall, the majority (62.7%) of adolescents revealed that their role models were Film Star (34.8%) and their Teachers (27.9%), Parents (14.3%), Sportsman (12.0%). Politicians as the role models were opted by least proportion (1.2%). In urban and rural schools, there were significant differences between the choices of the role models (Chi-Square = 24.1, df = 06, P < 0.05) [Table 2].
Occupational aspirations of in-school adolescents
When asked about the desires for the future occupation or job, many adolescents ardently responded that they wish to become Businessmen (27.9%), Doctor (18.6), and Engineer (14.4%). Others opted to be a teacher, farmer, police officer, or government servant. Least number of adolescents wished to be a lawyer in future (1.5%). The difference between urban and rural adolescents in the occupational desires was statistically significant (Chi-Square = 18.9, df = 08, P < 0.05).
| Discussion|| |
This study highlighted that majority of adolescents have a personality in their minds, whose attributes they follow in their life. Though the stage of adolescence is a dynamic period of life with respect to changing attitudes and perceptions, change in their role models might be seen in due course with increasing age and maturity.
At any given phase of adolescence, their choice of role models may indicate the likings and behavior form of the adolescent. An adolescent may choose a particular role model due to a bouquet of reasons. In this study, the reason given by the majority was related to the image of being ideal with a virtue of righteousness along with the glamour attached to them. This reason may be an indication of choosing film stars as the role model as this virtue is usually shown in the heroes of Indian films. A good teacher also leaves a good impact on the students; thus, a good proportion chose them as role models. A small proportion chose parents as role models; the reasons for this observation need a detailed study. According to a researcher,  in their study of adolescents from rural area it was found that Film heroes were the role model for 31.3% students, cricketers for 12.61%, and political leaders for 7.83% students and for the rest of the students, parents/teachers were the role models. The pattern of choice was similar as compared to the present study.
In another study,  fifty-six percent of adolescents identified a role model. Parent/relative (42%), non-familial known individual (19%), and "figure" or individual available primarily through the media (39%). Among non-familial known individuals were friends (56.9%), professionals such as doctors or lawyers (22.8%), teachers (15%), and clergy (1.2%). Among "figure" were actors (18.5%), historical figures (5.7%), political leaders (1.9%), comic book characters (1.2%), and a community leader (0.6%).
The desire of future occupation during adolescent plays an important role in the academic journey of an individual. Often, it has been observed that putting a foot in wrong shoe is detrimental to the practical life of an individual. The mindset of the society regarding various professions puts an enormous pressure on the adolescents. Further, the ever-increasing competition for some professions also augments the bulk of non-achievers of the competition and leaves them with disappointment and depression. Professionally guiding adolescents according to their likes and dislikes regarding their career could bring down the proportion of otherwise non-achievers.
In a study,  in response to the question, "If you had to start work tomorrow and assuming you had the proper education or training, what kind of work would you most likely choose?", the following seven themes emerged from the responses of grade seven students: (a) Professional occupations (e.g. lawyer, computers, doctor, nurse, architect, counselor); (b) glamour occupations (e.g. athlete, actress, fashion designer, chasing tornadoes); (c) trade occupations (e.g. mechanic, carpenter); (d) occupations with children (e.g. daycare worker, teacher); (e) occupations with animals (e.g. zoologist, wildlife biologist, veterinarian); (f) volunteer occupations, and (g) service industry occupations (e.g. chef, bed and breakfast, hairdresser). The finding of present study is in accordance with the above-mentioned study as the students revealed various choices for the future profession.
In another study,  the students who wanted to become doctor were 23.48%, engineer 16.5%, and teacher 24.54%, 14% students wanted to join defense/police services and the rest wanted to join the business/salaried jobs. About 6.52% students did not show any opinion. In the present study, the proportion of students favoring to be businessmen was the highest. The reason may be that the majority of study population belonged to the rural area where agriculture and small scale business was more practiced.
It is observed in this study that although the role model in good proportion of adolescent were film stars, only 2 students desired to be an actor. This observation highlights that the students had rational thinking when it comes to future occupational choices.
The above-mentioned studies show that the career choices during adolescent are varied, and all they need is proper guidance to progress with their choice of profession and they might give best results according to the developed capacity in them rather than being depressed.
| Conclusion|| |
Nearly all adolescents had a role model. There is greater impact of cinema on the minds of adolescents, which resulted in choosing film actors as their role model. The choice of future occupation was not related to the type of role models but may be influenced by society and family admiration for certain occupations. Proper guidance in this phase of life in needed to develop rational thinking in adolescents.
| Ethical considerations|| |
The permission of this thesis survey was obtained by the institutional board of studies held on 20.08.2002. This paper presents one component of the larger study done on school going adolescents. Verbal consent of the Principals of the schools selected for the study was received prior to starting the study. The parents of the students were informed about this study in the parent teacher meeting and their consent was obtained by the Principal of the school.
| References|| |
|1.||Wiktionary. Role model. Available from: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/role_model [Last accessed on 2008 Apr 23]. |
|2.||Holton G, Merton RK. Biographical Memoirs. Available from: http://web.archive.org/web/20070811154926/http://www.aps-pub.com/proceedings/1484/480411.pdf [Last accessed on 2007 Aug 7]. |
|3.||Mokdad AH, Marks JS, Stroup DF, Gerberding JL. Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000. JAMA 2004;291:1238-45. |
|4.||Khaw KT, Wareham N, Bingham S, Welch A, Luben R, Day N. Combined impact of health behaviours and mortality in men and women: The EPIC-Norfolk prospective population study. PLoS Med 2008;5:e12. |
|5.||Angela DB, Kerry B, Bernes. Occupational aspirations of students in grades seven to twelve. The National Consultation on Career Development (NATCON); 2005. |
|6.||Trice AD, Hughes MA, Odom C, Woods K, McClellan NC. The origins of children's career aspirations: IV. Testing hypotheses from four theories. Career Dev Q 1995;43:307-22. |
|7.||Ginzberg E. Toward a theory of occupational choice. Occupations 1952;30:491-4. |
|8.||Gottfredson LS. Gottfredson's theory of circumspection and compromise. In: Brown D and Brooks L, editors. Career choice and development. 3 rd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 1996. p. 179-232. |
|9.||Watson CM, Quatman T, Edler E. Career aspirations of adolescent girls: Effects of achieve-ment level, grade, and single-sex school environment. Sex Roles 2002;5:323-45. |
|10.||Wahl KH, Blackhurst A. Factors affecting the educational aspirations of children and adolescents. Prof School Couns 2000;3:367-74. |
|11.||Kumar P. Social classification-need for constant updating. Ind J Comm Med 1993;18:2. |
|12.||Majumdar R, Ganguli SK, Raje S. A study of adolescents in a rural area. Health Popul 2001;24:198-20. |
|13.||Yancey AK, Siegel JM, McDaniel KL. Role models, ethnic identity, and health-risk behaviors in urban adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2002;156:55-61. |
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]