Fitting in to Move Forward

  title={Fitting in to Move Forward},
  author={Karyn L. Lewis and Jane Stout and Noah Finkelstein and Steven J Pollock and Akira Miyake and Geoffery L. Cohen and Tiffany A. Ito},
  journal={Psychology of Women Quarterly},
  pages={420 - 436}
Social science researchers have increasingly focused on understanding the precursors to gender disparities favoring men in the physical sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (pSTEM). In the current work, we hypothesized that the core social need to belong explains persistence in pSTEM for women more so than for men. We conducted three field studies with data from close to 3,000 participants bridging a wide span of higher education levels and differing pSTEM fields. In each study… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

The Role of Social and Ability Belonging in Men’s and Women’s pSTEM Persistence
End-of-semester social belonging, ability belonging, and identification predicted intentions to persist in pSTEM, with a stronger relationship between social belonging and intentions to persistence in p STEM for women than men. Expand
Using social psychological theory to understand choice of a pSTEM academic major
Abstract Various social psychological factors have been proposed as influencing the likelihood of pursuing a pSTEM (physical science, technology, engineering, and math) academic major, but no workExpand
Localizing and Understanding Mechanisms of Gender Differences Within Pathways Towards and Away from Science Degrees
Despite decades-old research revealing gender differences in retention in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), persistent gaps in women’s participation remain in someExpand
Factors Influencing High School Students’ Interest in pSTEM
A lower sense of social and ability belonging and lower self-efficacy among female than male high school students pursuing pSTEM classes are found and perceptions of pSTEM fields as requiring innate brilliance more than hard work selectively discourage female students from intending to further pursue pSTEM. Expand
Chilly Climates, Balancing Acts, and Shifting Pathways: What Happens to Women in STEM Doctoral Programs
Women in doctoral programs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) leave without finishing at higher rates than men and, as with men, turn away from academic and research careers. ThisExpand
Formal Research Experiences for First Year Students: A Key to Greater Diversity in Computing?
Formal research experience during students/ first year was associated with a strong sense of mentor support during their second year, and the typical gap in sense of belonging among underrepresented and majority students disappeared among students with high mentor support. Expand
Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Role of Impostorism in STEM Persistence
Impostor phenomenon or “impostorism” refers to the experience of high-achieving individuals (particularly women) who, despite being successful, attribute their accomplishments to luck, and fear beingExpand
The Role of Self-Efficacy and Identity in Mediating the Effects of STEM Support Experiences.
Results from two studies testing the Mediation Model of Research Experiences show the importance of psychological processes such as identity and self-efficacy in understanding the specific ways in which science/engineering support programs lead to enhanced commitment to a career in STEM among white and underrepresented minority undergraduate students. Expand
Factors influencing participation of underrepresented students in STEM fields: matched mentors and mindsets
Background Women and ethnic minorities remain underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The goal of this pilot study is to better understand the beliefs andExpand
The Relationship Between Sense of Belonging and Student Outcomes in CS1 and Beyond
Examining students’ sense of belonging in six early undergraduate computer science courses across three consecutive quarters at a large research-intensive institution in North America found that women and first generation students have a lower incoming sense of belong across all courses. Expand


Why do women opt out? Sense of belonging and women's representation in mathematics.
Interestingly, the message that math ability could be acquired protected women from negative stereotypes, allowing them to maintain a high sense of belonging in math and the intention to pursue math in the future. Expand
STEMing the tide: using ingroup experts to inoculate women's self-concept in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
A stereotype inoculation model proposed that contact with same-sex experts in academic environments involving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) enhances women's self-concept in STEM, attitudes toward STEM, and motivation to pursue STEM careers. Expand
Sense of Belonging as a Predictor of Intentions to Persist Among African American and White First-Year College Students
This study investigates the role of students’ sense of belonging to their university in college student retention. Using individual growth curve modeling, we examined (a) whether sense of belongingExpand
Women's Representation in Science Predicts National Gender-Science Stereotypes: Evidence from 66 Nations.
In the past 40 years, the proportion of women in science courses and careers has dramatically increased in some nations but not in others. Our research investigated how national differences inExpand
When Trying Hard Isn’t Natural
Results suggest effort expenditure perceptions are an indicator women use to assess their fit in STEM and emphasizing effort as expected (and normal) to achieve success elevated women’s feelings of belonging and future motivation. Expand
The Influences of Perceived Identity Compatibility and Social Support on Women in Nontraditional Fields During the College Transition
Research suggests the need to examine theoretically founded psychosocial factors influencing the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In a longitudinalExpand
Race and Belonging in School: How Anticipated and Experienced Belonging Affect Choice, Persistence, and Performance.
Background/Context A sense of belonging in school is a complex construct that relies heavily on students’ perceptions of the educational environment, especially their relationships with otherExpand
Expectations of brilliance underlie gender distributions across academic disciplines
Results from a nationwide survey of academics support the hypothesis that women are underrepresented in fields whose practitioners believe that raw, innate talent is the main requirement for success, because women are stereotyped as not possessing such talent. Expand
Support, belonging, motivation, and engagement in the college classroom: a mixed method study
AbstractThis explanatory sequential mixed methods study examined how belonging perceptions, academic motivation, and engagement might mediate the relationship between academic contextualExpand
Expanding the concept of belonging in academic domains: Development and validation of the Ability Uncertainty Scale
Abstract Belonging uncertainty, or questioning whether one “fits in” socially, is an important determinate of academic success and retention. We expand this concept to capture uncertainty regardingExpand