skip to main content


Title: Longitudinal associations between parent degree/occupation, parent support, and adolescent motivational beliefs in STEM
Introduction The United States struggles with racial/ethnic disparities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) degrees and occupations. According to situated expectancy-value theory, the experience and knowledge parents gain through STEM degrees and occupations shape the STEM support they provide and relatedly their adolescents' STEM motivational beliefs. Methods We analyzed data from the High School Longitudinal Study (N = 14,000; 50% female; Mage = 14 years old at 9th grade), which is a recent U.S. data set that surveyed a nationally representative sample of adolescents. Results and Conclusions Results showed that parent STEM support in 9th grade and adolescent STEM motivational beliefs in 11th grade were lower in families where parents did not have a STEM degree/occupation than in families where at least one parent had a STEM degree/occupation. Our within-group analyses suggested that parents' STEM support was generally positively related to adolescents' STEM motivational beliefs among families where parents did not have a STEM degree/occupation for all racial/ethnic groups except Black adolescents. However, these relations were not significant among adolescents who had a parent STEM degree/occupation. Furthermore, although Asian and White adolescents' parents were more likely to hold a STEM degree/occupation than Latina/o and Black adolescents' parents, the associations between parent STEM support and adolescents' STEM motivational beliefs emerged for Asian, Latina/o, and White adolescents.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2054956 1760757
NSF-PAR ID:
10335161
Author(s) / Creator(s):
;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Adolescence
ISSN:
0140-1971
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The racial/ethnic disparities and average declines in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) motivation during adolescence are worrisome. Although STEM motivational beliefs are theorized to function in conjunction with one another, the unique patterns and how they change over time for different racial/ethnic groups remain understudied. Using data from the High School Longitudinal Study ( N = 18,260), we identified four and five patterns of math and science motivational beliefs in 9th and 11th grade, respectively, and examined their prevalence among Asian, Black, Latina/o, White, and Multiracial adolescents. We found patterns with overall high/low beliefs, patterns with varying levels of motivational beliefs, and patterns characterized by domain differentiation. Then, we charted the stability and changes in those patterns from 9th to 11th grade for each racial/ethnic group and how the patterns at 11th grade were associated with adolescents’ STEM career expectations and high school math and science grade point averages. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Though adolescents’ science identity beliefs predict positive STEM outcomes, researchers have yet to examine developmental differences within racial/ethnic groups despite theoretical arguments for such studies. The current study examined science identity trajectories for Black (14%), Latinx (22%), Asian (4%), and White (52%) students (N = 21,170; 50% girls) from 9th grade to three years post-high school and the variability within each racial/ethnic group based on gender and college generational status. Contrary to the literature, students’ science identities increased over time, and the increases were larger for potential first- versus continuing-generation White students. Potential continuing-generation boys had stronger 9th grade science identities than potential first-generation girls in all groups except Asians. The findings suggest who might benefit from additional supports within each racial/ethnic group. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract Introduction

    Parents' science support and adolescents' motivational beliefs are associated with adolescents' expectations for their future occupations; however, these associations have been mostly investigated among White, middle‐class samples. Framed by situated expectancy‐value theory, the current study investigated: (1) the associations between parents' science support in 9th grade and Latine adolescents' science intrinsic value, utility value, and STEM career expectations in 11th grade, and (2) whether these indicators and the relations among them differed by adolescents' gender and parents' education.

    Methods

    Study participants included Latine adolescents (n = 3060;Mage = 14.4 years old; 49% female) in the United States from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009.

    Results

    Analyses revealed a significant, positive association between parents' science support and Latine adolescents' science utility value. Additionally, there was a significant, positive association between parents' science support and Latinas' science intrinsic value, but not for Latinos' science intrinsic value. Latine adolescents' science utility value, but not their science intrinsic value, predicted their concurrent STEM career expectations. Though there were no significant mean level differences in adolescents' science utility value or parents' science support based on adolescents' gender, the measure of adolescents' science intrinsic value varied across girls and boys. Finally, adolescents whose parents had a college degree received greater science support from parents compared to adolescents whose parents had less education than a college degree.

    Conclusion

    Findings suggest parents' science support and adolescents' intrinsic and utility values have potential associations with Latine adolescents' STEM career expectations near the end of high school.

     
    more » « less
  4. Introduction Why do some students maintain their career expectations in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), whereas others change their expectations? Using situated expectancy-value and social cognitive career theories, we sought to investigate the extent to which STEM support predicted changes in students' STEM career expectations during high school, and if these processes varied by whether the student had college educated or noncollege educated parents. Methods Using the nationally representative data set of the High School Longitudinal Study, we investigated the predictors of changes in US students' STEM career expectations from 9th to 11th grade (n = 13,100, 54% noncollege educated parents, 51% girls, 55% White, 21% Latinx, 12% Black). Results and Conclusions Students with noncollege educated parents were significantly more likely to change from STEM to non-STEM career expectations by 11th grade or to have stable non-STEM career expectations (compared to having stable STEM expectations or changing from non-STEM to STEM expectations). Additionally, students with noncollege educated parents were less likely to receive STEM support from parents and attend extracurricular activities compared to students with college educated parents. However, when examining the predictors among students with noncollege educated parents, students were more likely to maintain their expectations for a STEM career from 9th to 11th grade (compared to switching to a non-STEM career) if they had parental STEM support. Additionally, all students regardless of parents' level of education were more likely to maintain their expectations for a STEM career (vs. switching to a non-STEM career) through high school if they received teacher STEM support. Furthermore, students were more likely to develop STEM career expectations (vs. maintaining non-STEM career expectations) if they had parent STEM support. These findings highlight how parent and teacher STEM support may bolster STEM career expectations, particularly among students with noncollege educated parents. 
    more » « less
  5. Integrating situated expectancy-value and family systems theories, the current study tested the extent to which Latinx adolescents’ 9th-grade school-related science conversations with parents and older siblings/cousins positively predicted their 10th-grade science ability selfconcepts and task values. We also tested whether these links were moderated by who primarily initiated the conversations (i.e., adolescents, family members, or both). We used two wave, multi-reporter survey data from 104 Latinx families, consisting of triads of parents, older siblings/cousins, and adolescents (89% Mexican-descent, 40% female; Mage¼ 14.53 years). Partially supporting our hypotheses, parent-adolescent school-related science conversations predicted adolescents’ 10th-grade science ability self-concepts. Moreover, the links between parent-adolescent conversations and science ability self-concepts and task values were positive and significant when parents more frequently initiated conversations than adolescents. Similar but weaker associations were found for sibling/ cousin-adolescent school-related science conversations. These findings underscore the motivational benefits of family members initiating school-related science conversations with Latinx adolescents. 
    more » « less