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ERIC Number: EJ1112036
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Sep
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Psychosocial Pathways to STEM Engagement among Graduate Students in the Life Sciences
Clark, Sheri L.; Dyar, Christina; Maung, Nina; London, Bonita
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v15 n3 Article 45 Sep 2016
Despite growing diversity among life sciences professionals, members of historically underrepresented groups (e.g., women) continue to encounter barriers to academic and career advancement, such as subtle messages and stereotypes that signal low value for women, and fewer opportunities for quality mentoring relationships. These barriers reinforce the stereotype that women's gender is incompatible with their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field, and can interfere with their sense of belonging and self-efficacy within STEM. The present work expands this literature in two ways, by 1) focusing on a distinct period in women's careers that has been relatively understudied, but represents a critical period when career decisions are made, that is, graduate school; and 2) highlighting the buffering effect of one critical mechanism against barriers to STEM persistence, that is, perceived support from advisors. Results of the present study show that perceived support from one's advisor may promote STEM engagement among women by predicting greater gender--STEM identity compatibility, which in turn predicts greater STEM importance among women (but not men). STEM importance further predicts higher sense of belonging in STEM for both men and women and increased STEM self-efficacy for women. Finally, we describe the implications of this work for educational policy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: HRD1311318