The motivation for higher education among Hmong college students and the impact of parenting styles

The purpose of this study was to explore the educational motivating factors and the parenting styles experienced by Hmong college students. The participants of this study were Hmong college students and alumni who studied at a University of California or a California State University. The data was collected using a quantitative online survey. There were a total of 297 participants, with 220 of the participants completing the survey. The survey consisted of 27 items which measured the type of motivation and the type of parenting styles experienced by participants. The collected data were analyzed through the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) program. The results of this study revealed that the most prevalent parenting style experienced by the participants was an authoritarian (strict) parenting style, followed by an authoritative (flexible) parenting style, and a permissive (lenient) parenting style. Participants selected an authoritative parenting style as the parenting style that they felt would best promote educational motivation within Hmong students. Extrinsic motivational factors such as job security, financial stability, and family acknowledgement, was revealed to have motivated participants to obtain a college degree and would also best serve as educational motivating factors for future Hmong students. This researcher suggests that social services should advocate for policies that will implement the promotion of cultural awareness and earlier higher education awareness among minority students such as Hmong.