Discipline: Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Subcategory: Social Sciences/Psychology/Economics
Room: Park Tower 8216
Cheyane Mitchell - Spelman College
Co-Author(s): Danielle Dickens, Ph.D., Spelman College, Atlanta, GA; Zharia Thomas, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA; Maria Jones, Ph.D., Spelman College, Atlanta, GA
Despite being underrepresented and marginalized, Black women have demonstrated consistent interest in pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), especially at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). However, few empirical studies have investigated psychological factors that contribute to Black college women?s persistence in the STEM field. Using the theoretical frameworks of intersectionality and phenomenological variant of ecological systems theory (PVEST), the current study examined the relationship between identity as a scientist, sense of belonging, and consistency of interest among 554 Black college women majoring in STEM at ten HBCUs. Through the distribution of an online Qualtrics survey, the results demonstrate that sense of belonging and science identity predicted consistency of interest in STEM. More specifically, the findings suggest that Black women are interested in STEM despite lacking a sense of belonging. The study’s findings can be used to develop an educational program to increase the retention rates, which can counteract the leaky pipeline which has historically resulted in inadequate representation of Black women in STEM.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This research project was funded by the NSF through the HBCU-UP grant to the HBCU Identity Research Center for STEM, Award #1818458.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Danielle Dickens, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: Drafted 3 sections of literature review (sense of belonging, grit, and part of introduction), methods section, and conclusion section that compared the findings to existing literature for inconsistencies and support.