ERIC Number: EJ1061905
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 69
Two Brief Interventions to Mitigate a "Chilly Climate" Transform Women's Experience, Relationships, and Achievement in Engineering
Walton, Gregory M.; Logel, Christine; Peach, Jennifer M.; Spencer, Steven J.; Zanna, Mark P.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v107 n2 p468-485 May 2015
In a randomized-controlled trial, we tested 2 brief interventions designed to mitigate the effects of a "chilly climate" women may experience in engineering, especially in male-dominated fields. Participants were students entering a selective university engineering program. The "social-belonging intervention" aimed to protect students' sense of belonging in engineering by providing a nonthreatening narrative with which to interpret instances of adversity. The "affirmation-training intervention" aimed to help students manage stress that can arise from social marginalization by incorporating diverse aspects of their self-identity in their daily academic lives. As expected, gender differences and intervention effects were concentrated in male-dominated majors (<20% women). In these majors, compared with control conditions, both interventions raised women's school-reported engineering grade-point-average (GPA) over the full academic year, eliminating gender differences. Both also led women to view daily adversities as more manageable and improved women's academic attitudes. However, the 2 interventions had divergent effects on women's social experiences. The social-belonging intervention helped women integrate into engineering, for instance, increasing friendships with male engineers. Affirmation-training helped women develop external resources, deepening their identification with their gender group. The results highlight how social marginalization contributes to gender inequality in quantitative fields and 2 potential remedies.
Descriptors: Educational Environment, Intervention, Engineering Education, Females, College Students, Student Experience, Academic Achievement, Interpersonal Relationship, Gender Differences, Program Effectiveness, Disproportionate Representation, Majors (Students), Grade Point Average, Student Attitudes, Social Experience, Social Isolation, Foreign Countries, Online Surveys, Multiple Regression Analysis, STEM Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada