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The perceived influence of role models and early career development in native and migrant youth

Andreas Hirschi

Valero, D., Keller, A. & Hirschi, A. (in press). The perceived influence of role models and early career development in native and migrant youth. Journal of Career Development.

Abstract

Role models provide youth with valuable information on how to pursue their career goals. However, whether the presence of role models is related to career development beyond social support has not been sufficiently addressed. We investigated how perceived role model influence and social support were related to goal engagement among 191 students and to work engagement among 500 apprentices, and whether these effects were mediated by occupational self-efficacy. We further examined differences between native and migrant youth. Data were analyzed using multi-group structural equation modeling. Our results suggested that engagement was related to role model influence beyond its relationship with social support among students and apprentices. However, this relationship was not found for migrant students. There were no significant indirect effects of role model influence on engagement via self-efficacy among students and apprentices. Our results suggest that role models should be acknowledged as a distinct facilitator of adolescents’ work-related engagement.

Keywords: role models, engagement, social support, migrant youth

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