M is for the million things she gave me: effects of priming mothers support on womens math motivationShow full item record
|M is for the million things she gave me: effects of priming mothers support on womens math motivation
|Yoke, Kristin Lauren
|Doctor of Philosophy
|Compared to other countries, the U.S. is lagging behind in the number of degrees awarded in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and there is concern whether we will be able to meet the future occupational demand. Women in particular are a group that is vastly underrepresented in STEM fields, making up less than 25% of the employees in STEM. The current experiments examined whether women who thought about a time when their mother was supportive subsequently reported increased math motivation. Women experience more anxiety when it comes to math compared to men because of things like negative stereotypes about womens mathematics ability, a lack of role models, and perceptions of the math environment as being very masculine. We hypothesized that thinking of ones mother could activate benefits through being an attachment figure. More specifically, we thought priming moms support could serve emotion regulation benefits and encourage exploration through activating womens sense of having a secure base. In the current studies, women undergraduates who wrote about a time when their mother was supportive reported greater math motivation (Study 1) and persisted longer at solving math problems (Study 2) compared to women who did not write about their mom. Additionally, women who wrote about their same-sex best friend or father did not experience the same increases in math motivation (Study 2), suggesting that thinking of ones mother confers unique benefits. Women who viewed a sketch of a mother and child also reported increases in math motivation (Study 3). Theoretical implications are discussed--Abstract.
|Lord, Charles G.
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- Doctoral Dissertations