Testing models of reciprocal relations between social influence and integration in STEM across the college years.
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The present study tests predictions from the Tripartite Integration Model of Social Influences (TIMSI) concerning processes linking social interactions to social integration into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) communities and careers. Students from historically overrepresented groups in STEM were followed from their senior year of high school through their senior year in college. Based on TIMSI, we hypothesized that interactions with social influence agents (operationalized as mentor network diversity, faculty mentor support, and research experiences) would promote both short- and long-term integration into STEM via social influence processes (operationalized as science self-efficacy, identity, and internalized community values). Moreover, we examined the previously untested hypothesis of reciprocal influences from early levels of social integration in STEM to future engagement with social influence agents. Results of a series of longitudinal structural equation model-based mediation analyses indicate that, in the short term, higher levels of faculty mentorship support and research engagement, and to a lesser degree more diverse mentor networks in college promote deeper integration into the STEM community through the development of science identity and science community values. Moreover, results indicate that, in the long term, earlier high levels of integration in STEM indirectly influences research engagement through the development of higher science identity. These results extend our understanding of the TIMSI framework and advance our understanding of the reciprocal nature of social influences that draw students into STEM careers.
author list (cited authors)
Hernandez, P. R., Agocha, V. B., Carney, L. M., Estrada, M., Lee, S. Y., Loomis, D., Williams, M., & Park, C. L.
complete list of authors
Hernandez, Paul R||Agocha, V Bede||Carney, Lauren M||Estrada, Mica||Lee, Sharon Y||Loomis, David||Williams, Michelle||Park, Crystal L
editor list (cited editors)