This study investigated whether social identity (i.e., ethnic, science, or a combination of ethnic and science identities) and self-efficacy (i.e., general academic and science) predict academic persistence in STEM (i.e., graduating with a baccalaureate degree in a STEM or STEM-related discipline). The study drew on social cognitive theory (SCT, Bandura, 1986) and social identity theory (SIT, Tajfel & Turner, 1986) to test three hypotheses. Hypothesis 1 was that science identity would be a stronger predictor of academic persistence than ethnic identity. Hypothesis 2 was that science self-efficacy would mediate the ability of social identity to predict academic persistence. Hypothesis 3 was that the college context (community college or four-year-university) would moderate the abilities of identity and self-efficacy to predict academic persistence.
One hundred ethnically diverse emerging adults (n = 38 female) comprised of 25 European American, 33 underrepresented minorities (URM), and 42 Asians from a four-year university (n = 50) and a community college (n = 50) contexts participated. They completed an online survey examining the associations between strength of social identity and types of academic self-efficacy. Persistence was operationalized as graduating with a baccalaureate degree in a STEM or STEM-related field.
Results supported both SCT and SIT. Binary logistic regression analyses supported the first two hypotheses: (1) Models with science identity as a predictor variable correctly identified more cases of graduation status than models using ethnic identity as a predictor variable. (2) Science self-efficacy fully mediated the ability of science identity to predict academic persistence. Consistent with SCT and SIT, both the college context and science self-efficacy remained separate, significant predictors of STEM graduation status (i.e., hypothesis three was not supported). Attending a four-year university, having a higher GPA, and having a strong science self-efficacy greatly increased the odds of graduating with a baccalaureate degree in a STEM or STEM-related discipline. However, gender, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity did not.
|Commitee:||Bonett, Douglas, Leaper, Campbell|
|School:||University of California, Santa Cruz|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Developmental psychology, Science education, Secondary education, Educational psychology, Personality psychology|
|Keywords:||Academic persistence, College context, Graduation, Self-efficacy, Social identity, STEM education|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be