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ERIC Number: EJ1062134
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Who Leaves, Who Stays? Psychological Predictors of Undergraduate Chemistry Students' Persistence
Shedlosky-Shoemaker, Randi; Fautch, Jessica M.
Journal of Chemical Education, v92 n3 p408-414 Mar 2015
The number of undergraduate students completing degrees in STEM disciplines has been declining over the last few decades. With a growing body of research considering what predicts persistence in STEM fields, one approach is to consider individual differences as predictors of attrition in the major. The current study utilized a variety of individual difference measures related to perceptions of ability and performance, motivation, and identity as predictors of which undergraduate students would change from the initially declared chemistry major within their first two years. Results indicated that students who left the chemistry major tended to have higher self-doubt and greater desire to avoid failure (i.e., performance-avoidance orientation). Additionally, the degree to which competition and academic competence impacted participants' self-worth related to persistence. Results are discussed in the context of the growing body of research linking individual differences to student persistence in STEM.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Need for Cognition Scale