Date of Graduation
College of Education and Human Services
Learning Sciences and Human Development
M Cecil Smith
Paul R. Hernandez
There is a need to increase the persistence of women in science careers. This study focuses on undergraduate women majoring in or interested in science. Despite interest early on in their academic careers, women are leaving STEM at higher rates than other fields. Through the framework of the Tripartite Integration Model of Social Influence (TIMSI), this study explores psychosocial factors leading to integration in science careers. 484 undergraduate women from 9 universities in the Colorado/Wyoming Front Range and the Carolinas were recruited into this study and surveyed through 8 waves of data collection. A model building process was performed using HLM to study the impact of efficacy, identity, community values, and agentic and communal values on the persistence of undergraduate women in science over time. Results indicate a significant quartic change over time in persistence for undergraduate women, with initially high persistence intentions that steadily drop each semester until leveling out in their final year of undergraduate studies. Women with strong science identities and strong scientific community values begin with even higher persistence intentions. Over time, women with higher scientific community values show greater declines in persistence. Additionally, over time, women who perceive science careers as allowing agentic values have lesser declines in persistence. And women who endorse communal values have greater declines in persistence. Implications for future research include the need to further study the relationship between communal and agentic values regarding the TIMSI framework and the need to target interventions toward building a more diverse notion of what the scientific community values.
Henderson, Heather L., "Persistence of Undergraduate Women in STEM through TIMSI" (2019). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 7435.