NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED547933
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 108
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-2679-6
How Social Networks Influence Female Students' Choices to Major in Engineering
Weinland, Kathryn Ann
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Oklahoma State University
Scope and Method of Study: This study examined how social influence plays a part in female students' choices of college major, specifically engineering instead of science, technology, and math. Social influence may show itself through peers, family members, and teachers and may encompass resources under the umbrella of social capital. The purpose of this study was to examine how female students' social networks, through the lens of social capital, influence her major choice of whether or not to study engineering. The variables of peer influence, parental influence, teacher/counselor influence, perception of engineering, and academic background were addressed in a 52 question, Likert scale survey. This survey has been modified from an instrument previously used by Reyer (2007) at Bradley University. Data collection was completed using the Dillman (2009) tailored design model. Responses were grouped into four main scales of the dependent variables of social influence, encouragement, perceptions of engineering and career motivation. A factor analysis was completed on the four factors as a whole, and individual questions were not be analyzed. Findings and Conclusions: This study addressed the differences in social network support for female freshmen majoring in engineering versus female freshmen majoring in science, technology, or math. Social network support, when working together from all angles of peers, teachers, parents, and teachers/counselors, transforms itself into a new force that is more powerful than the summation of the individual parts. Math and science preparation also contributed to female freshmen choosing to major in engineering instead of choosing to major in science, technology, or math. The STEM pipeline is still weak and ways in which to reinforce it should be examined. Social network support is crucial for female freshmen who are majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A