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Abstract

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, tribal familial affiliations form the basis of society with opinions and viewpoints of parents and other family elders heavily influencing the decisions of younger Emiratis. Social transitions caused by rapid and progressive economic development have affected each consecutive generation with a vastly different set of social circumstances than the preceding generation. This paper presents results of a study investigating the types and extent of family involvement in Emirati students’ college education using an online bilingual survey with 1173 participants and telephone interview with 30 randomly selected guardians. Findings of the study indicate the presence of a generational gap in education and experience between Emirati students and family elders. The generational gap may lead to ineffective academic support and career preparation.