ERIC Number: ED222037
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
The Study of Social Processes That Inhibit or Enhance the Development of Competence and Interest in Mathematics among Highly Able Young Women. Final Report, September 1979 through January 1982.
Fox, Lynn H.
The study investigated social processes and sex differences that might inhibit or enhance the development of interest, self confidence, and competence in the study of mathematics and in the pursuit of careers which require advanced mathematical knowledge and skill among 120 seventh graders, all identified as having superior mathematical ability by the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth at Johns Hopkins University. A student questionnaire and a parent questionnaire were developed. The Vocational Preference Inventory was administered to students. Questions investigated covered the following areas: characteristics related to family background and aptitude, attitudinal characteristics, support from significant others, home learning, interrelationships between variables, and teacher characteristics. Ss were divided into five groups: A-1 consisted of girls considered to be highly motivated on the basis of their having accelerated their study of mathematics; A-2 included girls who were considered to be not as highly motivated as A-1; B-1 was a sample of boys considered to be highly motivated; B-2 was a sample of boys considered to be not highly motivated; and C was a sample of girls who appeared to have low interest in mathematics and high interest in the humanities. Among findings were the following: no significant differences were found among the five groups on measures of socioeconomic and family constellation variables; A-1 girls had lower levels of self confidence in mathematics than B-1 boys; mothers of boys noticed ability in their sons at a much earlier age than mothers of girls; and most parents of girls felt careers would need to be interrupted for child bearing purposes. Although all the girls were extremely talented in mathematics, they had not been viewed as unusually gifted or unique by the teachers. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD. Evening Coll.