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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

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

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v7.i4.40
24 pages

IDENTIFYING DETERMINANTS OF ACADEMIC SELFCONFIDENCE AMONG SCIENCE, MATH, ENGINEERING, AND TECHNOLOGY STUDENTS

Penelope M. Huang
University of Washington, Department of Sociology and Center for Workforce Development, Box 352135, Seattle, WA 98195-2135
Suzanne Gage Brainard
Center for Workforce Development, University of Washington, 101 Wilson Annex, Box 352135, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA

ABSTRACT

This study attempts to identify determinants of the gender gap in science, math, engineering, and technology (SMET) students’ levels of self-confidence in math, science, and overall academic ability. Results from multivariate regression analyses of 336 undergraduate engineering majors at the University of Washington (UW) who completed the Engineering Student Experience Survey point to perceived respect from professors as the strongest determinant of female academic self-confidence, whereas the perceived quality of teaching is the strongest predictor among male students. Results from multivariate regression analyses of the Undergraduate Retention Study, a longitudinal study of nine cohorts of female undergraduates interested in SMET study at UW, support the finding that female students’ selfconfidence levels tend more than those of male students to be influenced by external factors. Analyses also reveal the determinants of math self-confidence to be different from factors that determine science self-confidence. These factors are found to vary by class level as well.


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