STUDENT PERCEPTION OF CLOSE SOCIAL SUBGROUP INFLUENCE ON STEM DEGREE PERSISTENCE.

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Date: Summer 2021
From: College Student Journal(Vol. 55, Issue 2)
Publisher: Project Innovation (Alabama)
Document Type: Report
Length: 7,774 words
Lexile Measure: 1430L

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Abstract :

Dad? The high school biology teacher? A childhood friend? Understanding who students believe influences their degree persistence will improve student retention and degree attainment. This study examined relationships between student perceptions of close social groups' (i.e., family, friends, and educators; FFEs) influence, motivational factors, and perceived STEM degree attainment. First-year students (N = 247) at a U.S. university were surveyed to investigate how FFE influence and motivational factors serve as predictors of STEM degree persistence. Structural equation modeling was conducted to identify which FFE group/subgroups students perceive contributed to STEM interest, outcome expectations, and self-efficacy; which in-turn influenced major selection and persistence. Friends and mothers were found to directly influence persistence, with STEM interest serving as a partial mediator. Siblings, high school teachers and counselors had an indirect effect. Results indicated students' initial perception of influences may differ from their deeper reflections. Educational implications and future research directions are presented. Keywords: degree persistence, educators, family, friends, parents, siblings, STEM

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A668596344