NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ776684
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 30
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 84
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Gender Differences in Introductory University Physics Performance: The Influence of High School Physics Preparation and Affective Factors
Hazari, Zahra; Tai, Robert H.; Sadler, Philip M.
Science Education, v91 n6 p847-876 Nov 2007
The attrition of females studying physics after high school is a growing concern to the science education community. Most undergraduate science programs require introductory physics coursework. Thus, success in introductory physics is usually necessary for students to progress to higher levels of science study. Success also influences attitudes; if females are well prepared, feel confident, and do well in introductory physics, they may be inclined to study physics further. This quantitative study using a hierarchical linear model focused on determining factors from high school physics preparation (content, pedagogy, and assessment) and the affective domain that predicted female and male performance in introductory university physics. The data analyzed came from 1973 introductory university physics surveys that included variables used as controls for student demographic and academic background characteristics. The results highlight high school physics and affective experiences that differentially predicted female and male performance. These experiences include learning requirements, long-written problems, cumulative tests/quizzes, father's encouragement, and family's belief that science leads to a better career. There were also factors that had a similar effect on female and male performance among which mathematics preparation was the overall strongest predictor of university physics performance. (Contains 4 tables and 6 figures.) [Support for this project was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC).]
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Subscription Department, 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A