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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence 2/2019

24-08-2018 | Empirical Research

Adolescents’ Beliefs about Math Ability and Their Relations to STEM Career Attainment: Joint Consideration of Race/ethnicity and Gender

Auteurs: Eunjin Seo, Yishan Shen, Edna C. Alfaro

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence | Uitgave 2/2019

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Abstract

Much of the workforce demand in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the United States goes unmet, and females and racial/ethnic minorities are vastly underrepresented in these fields. To understand the psychological antecedents for STEM career attainment, this study took an intersectional approach and examined racial/ethnic and gender differences in youth’s math-related ability beliefs—growth mindset, self-concept, and career expectancy—and their longitudinal relations to STEM career attainment. Specifically, the study utilized nationally representative data of 10th graders over 10 years (n ~ = 14,320, Mage = 16.46, 50.4% female; 60.6% White, 15.5% Latinx, 14.1% Black, 9.8% Asian). The results indicated that youth’s math-related ability beliefs positively predicted their later STEM career outcomes. Furthermore, female adolescents’ math self-concept was more negative than male adolescents among Whites and Latinxs but not among Blacks and Asians. Black adolescents did not fully garner the advantage of having positive self-concept. Finally, high school math achievement did not predict Latina and Black youth’s STEM career expectancy. The current findings inform future interventions that different ability beliefs may need to be targeted for each race/ethnicity and gender.
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Voetnoten
1
Race is conceptualized as a sociohistorical rather than biological construct, and the terms race and ethnicity are used interchangeably (for relevant discussion: Smedley and Smedley 2005). White, Black, and Asian Americans indicate those who do not ethnically self-categorize as Latinx. When indicating multiple racial/ethnic groups in a sentence, they are listed in descending order of sample size in the data (i.e., White, Latinx, Black, and Asian), which also aligns with the population size of each race/ethnicity in the United States as of 2017 (United States Census Bureau 2017).
 
2
The term Latinx is used as a gender inclusive alternative to Latino or Latino/a.
 
3
The internal frame of reference model (Marsh et al. 2017) provides potential explanation for these divergent functions of attribution processes in a school setting: Individuals form ability self-concepts based on their performance not only in the relevant domain but also in other domains. For example, a student with high verbal ability is likely to have a more negative math self-concept than a student with poor verbal ability given the same math achievement. Based on this model, it is plausible that White female adolescents who are negatively stereotyped in mathematics but positively stereotyped in verbal domains may develop less positive math self-concept than their male peers given the same achievement. Latino and Black male adolescents are negatively stereotyped in both math and verbal domains and thus less likely to be affected by the internal frame of reference effects.
 
4
Following the research publication guidelines of Institute of Education Sciences (see https://​nces.​ed.​gov/​statprog/​rudman/​chapter2.​asp#srp), all unweighted sample size numbers were rounded to the nearest ten.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Adolescents’ Beliefs about Math Ability and Their Relations to STEM Career Attainment: Joint Consideration of Race/ethnicity and Gender
Auteurs
Eunjin Seo
Yishan Shen
Edna C. Alfaro
Publicatiedatum
24-08-2018
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Youth and Adolescence / Uitgave 2/2019
Print ISSN: 0047-2891
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-6601
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0911-9