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

ISSN Imprimer: 1072-8325
ISSN En ligne: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2017019648
pages 365-383

EXPLORING GENDER AND RACIAL DIFFERENCES BY TESTING A MODEL OF ENGINEERING STUDENTS' PERSISTENCE INTENTIONS IN HOLLAND'S REALISTIC AND INVESTIGATIVE DOMAINS

Lisa Y. Flores
Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA
Feihan Li
Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA
Rachel L. Navarro
Department of Counseling Psychology and Community Services, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, 58202, USA

RÉSUMÉ

The current study tested a model of persistence intentions in engineering based on Lent, Brown, and Hackett [J. Vocat. Behav., vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 79–122, 1994; J. Couns. Psychol., vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 36–49, 2000] social cognitive career theory (SCCT) in Holland's (Holland, J.L., Making Vocational Choices: A Theory of Vocational Personalities and Work Environments, 3rd ed., Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, 1997] Realistic and Investigative domains. Using a diverse sample of 515 engineering students attending a Hispanic Serving Institution in the southwest region of the U.S., the findings indicated that the proposed combined effects SCCT model, which included both direct effects and indirect effects via self-efficacy from contextual variables to persistence intentions, fit the data for the sample better than two alternate models. Significant paths were found between Realistic/Investigative self-efficacy and Realistic/Investigative interests, respectively, and between all of the contextual variables (i.e., engineering support, engineering barriers, perceived gender-related barriers, perceived race-related barriers) and engineering persistence intentions in both the Realistic and Investigative domains. For the Realistic domain, the path from perceived gender-related career barriers to self-efficacy was also significant. For the Investigative domain, the path from perceived engineering barriers to self-efficacy was significant. SCCT predictors accounted for an 18.4% and 20.5% of variance in engineering persistence intentions for Realistic and Investigative models, respectively. Finally, the model parameters did not vary across women and men nor across Latina/o and White engineering students for both the Realistic and Investigative models. Implications for research and practice are discussed in relation to persistence in engineering among women and Latina/o students.


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