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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2014004477
pages 99-126

USING AND DOING SCIENCE: GENDER, SELF-EFFICACY, AND SCIENCE IDENTITY OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN STEM

Montrischa M. Williams
Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1310 S. 6th St., Champaign, Illinois 61820, USA
Casey George-Jackson
University of Louisville

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the extent to which male and female students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields identify as scientists, and how their self-efficacy and science identity impacts using and doing science. Self-efficacy is an individual's perception of his or her ability to perform designated tasks to accomplish a particular goal or identified outcome, and science identity is an individual's competence, performance, and recognition in a STEM-related field. The study draws upon online survey results of 1,881 undergraduate students. Differences in science identity and self-efficacy are explored by type of STEM major. The results indicate that differences exist between males and females in their science identity and perceived self-efficacy. Additionally, although science identity and self-efficacy both positively impact using and doing science, self-efficacy has the largest impact on using and doing science when compared to the other statistically significant variables in the regression model. Findings from the study seek to inform programs and practices that aim to increase student persistence and practice in the STEM fields.