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Towards Closing the Gender Gap in Engineering. How Can Role Models Affect Girls’ Self-efficacy, Belonging, and Communal Goal Congruity?

Giese, Laura LU and Kalucza, Janne LU (2017) PSYP01 20171
Department of Psychology
Abstract
Girls continue to be less interested in studying engineering than boys. Previous research has found that this gender difference is in part due to girls’ lower self-efficacy, lower sense of belonging in engineering and higher communal goals, which they perceive are difficult to fulfil in engineering. This study tested if a role model intervention can improve these factors in female high school students and thereby raise their interest in engineering. The intervention consisted of a video displaying a group of interacting female engineering students describing their experiences in their studies. In a sample of 322 Swedish high school students we first replicated previous findings by showing that boys were generally more interested in... (More)
Girls continue to be less interested in studying engineering than boys. Previous research has found that this gender difference is in part due to girls’ lower self-efficacy, lower sense of belonging in engineering and higher communal goals, which they perceive are difficult to fulfil in engineering. This study tested if a role model intervention can improve these factors in female high school students and thereby raise their interest in engineering. The intervention consisted of a video displaying a group of interacting female engineering students describing their experiences in their studies. In a sample of 322 Swedish high school students we first replicated previous findings by showing that boys were generally more interested in engineering than girls and that this gender difference in interest was mediated by gender differences in self-efficacy and communal goal endorsement, with self-efficacy being the strongest mediator. While expected belonging was a predictor of interest in engineering it did not mediate the gender differences in interest, contrary to previous research. We then expanded on previous research by showing that the role model intervention increased both boys’ and girls’ interest, expected belonging, and perceived communal goal affordance in engineering but had no effect on participants’ self-efficacy. Limitations of the study and directions for future research are discussed. (Less)
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author
Giese, Laura LU and Kalucza, Janne LU
supervisor
organization
course
PSYP01 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
belonging, self-efficacy, role models, intervention, gender, engineering, STEM, communal goals
language
English
id
8918539
date added to LUP
2017-07-05 09:40:12
date last changed
2017-07-05 09:40:12
@misc{8918539,
  abstract     = {Girls continue to be less interested in studying engineering than boys. Previous research has found that this gender difference is in part due to girls’ lower self-efficacy, lower sense of belonging in engineering and higher communal goals, which they perceive are difficult to fulfil in engineering. This study tested if a role model intervention can improve these factors in female high school students and thereby raise their interest in engineering. The intervention consisted of a video displaying a group of interacting female engineering students describing their experiences in their studies. In a sample of 322 Swedish high school students we first replicated previous findings by showing that boys were generally more interested in engineering than girls and that this gender difference in interest was mediated by gender differences in self-efficacy and communal goal endorsement, with self-efficacy being the strongest mediator. While expected belonging was a predictor of interest in engineering it did not mediate the gender differences in interest, contrary to previous research. We then expanded on previous research by showing that the role model intervention increased both boys’ and girls’ interest, expected belonging, and perceived communal goal affordance in engineering but had no effect on participants’ self-efficacy. Limitations of the study and directions for future research are discussed.},
  author       = {Giese, Laura and Kalucza, Janne},
  keyword      = {belonging,self-efficacy,role models,intervention,gender,engineering,STEM,communal goals},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Towards Closing the Gender Gap in Engineering. How Can Role Models Affect Girls’ Self-efficacy, Belonging, and Communal Goal Congruity?},
  year         = {2017},
}