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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.v8.i1.30
12 pages

GENDER AND ACHIEVEMENT-RELATED BELIEFS AMONG ENGINEERING STUDENTS

Gail D. Heyman
University of California, San Diego
Bryn Martyna
University of California, San Diego
Sangeeta Bhatia
University of California, San Diego

ABSTRACT

Achievement-related beliefs were examined among a group of 238 college students in engineering (38 female, 104 male) and nonengineering majors (57 female, 39 male) to understand why women enter engineering majors at a low rate and are more likely than men to leave such majors. The results indicated that (a) among the engineering majors, women were more likely than men to identify engineering aptitude as a fixed ability, a belief that was associated with a tendency to drop classes when faced with difficulty; (b) female engineering majors were more likely to perceive male and female engineering students as receiving different treatment than their male counterparts; and (c) female engineering majors tended to place more emphasis on extrinsic factors and less emphasis on intrinsic factors than female nonengineering majors, a pattern not seen among men. Implications for intervention programs are discussed.


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