Presentation on theme: "Stereotype Threat: Undermining the Persistence of Racial Minority Freshmen in the Sciences Mitchell J. Chang, Kevin Eagan, Monica Lin, Sylvia Hurtado UCLA."— Presentation transcript:
Stereotype Threat: Undermining the Persistence of Racial Minority Freshmen in the Sciences Mitchell J. Chang, Kevin Eagan, Monica Lin, Sylvia Hurtado UCLA AERA April 16, 2009
Problem Roughly half of undergraduates who major in the sciences switch out of these fields, and very few non-science majors switch to science majors 24% of URM students complete a bachelor’s degree in science within 6 years of college entry compared to 40% of White students U.S. science pipeline called “leakier than warped rubber tubing” and underrepresented minorities are “missing persons” in those fields
Undergraduate student persistence in science An individual student’s own educational success is more than the sum of his or her personal will, aspiration, and traditional academic indicators such as test scores and high school grades; One’s gender, racial, and socioeconomic background, for example, also help shape one’s opportunity for college success; Educational experiences within institutions are not uniform but are directly affected by a student’s racial background and the structure of opportunity encountered.
Stereotype Threat (Steele & Aronson) Two components Domain identification Negative racial experiences and negative stereotypes Stereotype threat can lead to: Academic underperformance Dis-identification
From “Lab to Field” “This theory would be the least bit interesting unless it was attempting to describe performance differences that occur in real-world (i.e., natural) settings” (Osborne). Challenge: researcher cannot manipulate the degree of threat directly but must assess it indirectly by tapping into natural variation in real-world populations. Those that have focused on “real-world” consequences in the context of higher education have done so through social surveys.
Data Source and Sample 2004 Freshman Survey 2005 Your First College Year (YFCY) survey 1,745 URM biomedical or behavioral science* major students at 123 institutions * (Biomedical and behavioral science majors include: general biology, biochemistry/biophysics, microbiology/bacterial biology, zoology, other biological science, chemistry, medicine/dentistry/veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and psychology)
Stereotype Threat Conditions Domain Identification (alpha = 0.68): Importance of: (1) obtaining recognition from my colleagues for contributions to my field; (2) becoming an authority in my field; (3) making a theoretical contribution to science; (4) improving the health of minority communities; and (5) working to find a cure to a health problem. Negative racial experiences (alpha = 0.72): Frequency that students (1) felt insulted or threatened because of race/ethnicity; (2) had tense, somewhat hostile race-related interactions; (3) had guarded/cautious race-related interactions; (4) have been singled out because of race/ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation; and (5) have heard faculty express stereotypes about racial/ethnic groups in class.
Research Design Variables Demographic characteristics Academic preparation Concern about financing college education Academic self-concept Institutional structural characteristics Institutional Selectivity Analysis Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling (HGLM)
Results for Model 1 ( includes all background, institution, & ST conditions ) High domain identification: 3.99% more likely to persist than students with moderate domain identification No main effect associated with students’ level of stigma-inducing experiences on persistence Participation in pre-professional/departmental club (10.98% more likely to persist) Institutional selectivity: 100-point increase reduced persistence probability by 3.81%
Results for Model 2 (includes ST Interaction Term) Interaction term representing stereotype threat: significant and negative effect on science persistence One-point increase in stereotype threat interaction resulted in a 5.67% reduction in their probability of persisting;
Stereotype Threat: Undermining the Persistence of Racial Minority Freshmen in the Sciences Figure 1 Interaction Effect of Domain Identification and Stigma-Inducing Experiences on Students’ Likelihood of Science Major Persistence
Conclusions Findings support Steele’s claims that “stereotype threat affects only a subportion of the stereotyped group, and in the area of schooling, probably affects confident students more than unconfident ones”; Varying effects of domain identification Reduce chances that students will (1) experience racial insults & threats (2) be singled out because of race/ethnicity, & (3) have instructors who express stereotypes.
Resources & Project Staff Papers and reports are available for download from project website: http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/heri/nih Project e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Faculty: Sylvia Hurtado, Co-Principal Investigator Mitchell Chang, Co-Principal Investigator Graduate Research Assistants: Kevin Eagan Lorelle Espinsoa Christopher Newman Administrative Staff: Aaron Pearl Jessica Sharkness Minh Tran Paolo Velasco