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ERIC Number: EJ946334
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1756-1108
Finding Fulfillment: Women's Self-Efficacy Beliefs and Career Choices in Chemistry
Grunert, Megan L.; Bodner, George M.
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v12 n4 p420-426 2011
Research has shown that self-efficacy beliefs are effective predictors of academic major and career choices in middle school, high school, and early college populations. There is little understanding, however, of how these beliefs develop and what influence they have on academic and career choices in women at the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels. This qualitative study identified key factors that contributed to women chemists' academic and career decisions. Participants completed a chemistry self-efficacy survey and participated in three in-depth interviews. The results indicated that the participants' efficacy beliefs were positively influenced primarily by mastery experiences and social support and were undermined by inaccurate social comparisons. Efficacy beliefs were found to help steer them towards different careers, but ultimately value judgments were more influential in directing their career choice. These women did not value the outcomes of chemistry research or find scientific research intrinsically fulfilling, which led them to choose careers that they felt more directly benefitted humanity. Suggestions for showing the value of chemistry research in the classroom and the laboratory are offered. (Contains 1 table.)
Royal Society of Chemistry. Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF, UK. Tel: +44-1223 420066; Fax: +44-1223 423623; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A