Over the last decades, researchers have attempted to explain the reason of the lack of interest that students, particularly girls, show toward science college degrees and careers. According to Social Cognitive Career Theory (Lent, Brown & Hackett,1994), the career interests are strongly predicted by self-efficacy beliefs and self-efficacy beliefs may be influenced by different sources (mastery experience, vicarious experience, social persuasion and physiological states). Previous researches demonstrated that students who have a strong belief that they can succeed in science tasks and activities will be more likely to select such tasks and activities, work hard to complete them successfully, and persevere in the face of difficulty (Lent et al., 2008). In addition, these researches showed that mastery experience in studying science subjects and may promote the sense of science self-efficacy. The purpose of this study was to investigate if there are any differences among boys and girls in the degree to which two kind of sources of self-efficacy (science classroom experiences and social support from family, teachers and peers) predict the science self-efficacy beliefs and the science career interest. The survey involved 151 students (52% males; 48% females) aged between 16 and 19 (M=16.80; ds=.96). The questionnaire included six subscales developed and validated in previous studies. They were: Family Encouragement (4 items by Stake e Mares, 2001) (α=.68); Peer Attitudes Toward Science (4 items by Talton e Simpson, 1985) (α=.60); Teacher Influence (4 items by Simpson e Troost, 1982) (α=.68); Science Classroom Experiences (4 items by Meldrum, 2006) (α=.60); Science self-efficacy (three items by Witt-Rose, 2003) (α=.84); Science Career Interest (3 items by Stake e Mares, 2001) (α=.97). The results confirm that the science self-efficacy is very important to predict the science career interest both for boys and girls like so the family support influences both self-efficacy and science career interest. The main difference between boys and girls regards firstly the influence of science classroom experiences on the science self-efficacy and career interest that is significant only for the females and secondarily the influence of the teachers’support on the science self-efficacy that is significant only for the males. Lent R. W., Sheu H.-B., Singley D., Schmidt J. A., Schmidt L. C., Gloster C. S.(2008). Longitudinal relations of self-efficacy to outcome expectations, interests, and major choice goals in engineering students. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 73, 328–335. Lent, R.W., Brown, S.D., Hackett, G. (1994). Towards a unifying social cognitive theory of career and academic interest, choice and performance. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 45, 79-122.

Pursuing a science career since high school: which differences among boys and girls?

CHIESA, RITA;GUGLIELMI, DINA
2011

Abstract

Over the last decades, researchers have attempted to explain the reason of the lack of interest that students, particularly girls, show toward science college degrees and careers. According to Social Cognitive Career Theory (Lent, Brown & Hackett,1994), the career interests are strongly predicted by self-efficacy beliefs and self-efficacy beliefs may be influenced by different sources (mastery experience, vicarious experience, social persuasion and physiological states). Previous researches demonstrated that students who have a strong belief that they can succeed in science tasks and activities will be more likely to select such tasks and activities, work hard to complete them successfully, and persevere in the face of difficulty (Lent et al., 2008). In addition, these researches showed that mastery experience in studying science subjects and may promote the sense of science self-efficacy. The purpose of this study was to investigate if there are any differences among boys and girls in the degree to which two kind of sources of self-efficacy (science classroom experiences and social support from family, teachers and peers) predict the science self-efficacy beliefs and the science career interest. The survey involved 151 students (52% males; 48% females) aged between 16 and 19 (M=16.80; ds=.96). The questionnaire included six subscales developed and validated in previous studies. They were: Family Encouragement (4 items by Stake e Mares, 2001) (α=.68); Peer Attitudes Toward Science (4 items by Talton e Simpson, 1985) (α=.60); Teacher Influence (4 items by Simpson e Troost, 1982) (α=.68); Science Classroom Experiences (4 items by Meldrum, 2006) (α=.60); Science self-efficacy (three items by Witt-Rose, 2003) (α=.84); Science Career Interest (3 items by Stake e Mares, 2001) (α=.97). The results confirm that the science self-efficacy is very important to predict the science career interest both for boys and girls like so the family support influences both self-efficacy and science career interest. The main difference between boys and girls regards firstly the influence of science classroom experiences on the science self-efficacy and career interest that is significant only for the females and secondarily the influence of the teachers’support on the science self-efficacy that is significant only for the males. Lent R. W., Sheu H.-B., Singley D., Schmidt J. A., Schmidt L. C., Gloster C. S.(2008). Longitudinal relations of self-efficacy to outcome expectations, interests, and major choice goals in engineering students. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 73, 328–335. Lent, R.W., Brown, S.D., Hackett, G. (1994). Towards a unifying social cognitive theory of career and academic interest, choice and performance. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 45, 79-122.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE Vocational designing and Career counseling: Challenges and new horizons
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Chiesa R.; Guglielmi D.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/399473
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