Jeff Madonna (2002) Occupational Choice in Light of Father/Son Relationships

This paper investigates occupational choice in light of the father-son relationship. Psychoanalytic literature on the father-son relationship and its role in development is reviewed. Empirical studies are also reviewed and confirm a significant correlation between father’s and son’s occupations. Sixteen male subjects were interviewed and answered questions about their occupations and their relationship with their fathers. It was found that in each case the father-son relationship influenced the son’s choice or situation occupationally. Identification with the father occupationally was found in roughly two-thirds of the subjects. Almost two-thirds of the subjects’ occupational situations were influenced by their father’s occupational wishes for them.