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J Couns Psychol. 2010 Apr;57(2):205-18. doi: 10.1037/a0018608.

Influence of social cognitive and ethnic variables on academic goals of underrepresented students in science and engineering: a multiple-groups analysis.

Author information

1
Center for Women's Health Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 53715-2634, USA. ambyars@wisc.edu

Abstract

This study investigated the academic interests and goals of 223 African American, Latino/a, Southeast Asian, and Native American undergraduate students in two groups: biological science and engineering (S/E) majors. Using social cognitive career theory (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994), we examined the relationships of social cognitive variables (math/science academic self-efficacy, math/science outcome expectations), along with the influence of ethnic variables (ethnic identity, other-group orientation) and perceptions of campus climate to their math/science interests and goal commitment to earn an S/E degree. Path analysis revealed that the hypothesized model provided good overall fit to the data, revealing significant relationships from outcome expectations to interests and to goals. Paths from academic self-efficacy to S/E goals and from interests to S/E goals varied for students in engineering and biological science. For both groups, other-group orientation was positively related to self-efficacy and support was found for an efficacy-mediated relationship between perceived campus climate and goals. Theoretical and practical implications of the study's findings are considered as well as future research directions.

KEYWORDS:

career goals; ethnic identity; science and engineering; social cognitive career; underrepresented students

PMID:
20495610
PMCID:
PMC2872245
DOI:
10.1037/a0018608
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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