Examining Emirati Youth Military Career Intentions with the Theory of Planned Behavior
Keywords:Theory of Planned Behavior, youth career decision-making, military career, United Arab Emirates
This study examined Emirati youths’ intention to pursue a military career post-national service with a modified Theory of Planned Behavior model which assumes that the likelihood of performing a behavior is determined by the strength of intention to perform that behavior and intention is determined by attitude towards the behavior; subjective norms concerning the behavior; and self-efficacy. Interviews and surveys were conducted with 238 Emirati male youths and parents. It found that younger less educated youths were more interested in pursuing a military career; believing that it would lead to beneficial outcomes, than their older counterparts. Most parents approved of their sons pursuing a military career and the latter’s awareness of this opinion could increase the likelihood of youths taking up a military career. Finally, although younger less educated youths showed increased interest over time in pursuing a military career post-national service, they were more likely to change their mind about their career choice. In contrast, older and more educated youths were more resolute about their career intentions and more likely to carry out their decisions but most were not interested in a military career. The findings could be used to meet the human resource challenges faced by the UAE Armed Forces in recruiting Emirati military personnel.
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