Title

The Form and Function of STEM Research Mentoring: A Mixed-Methods Analysis Focusing on Ethnically Diverse Undergraduates and Their Mentors

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-27-2018

Publication Title

Emerging Adulthood

Volume

7

Issue

3

First page number:

180

Last page number:

193

Abstract

This mixed-methods study examines mentoring relationships in an ethnically diverse sample of undergraduates in majors related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Guided by an intersectionality framework, we examined whether features of research mentoring differ at the intersection of ethnicity and gender. Survey data from undergraduates (N = 486; 76% members of underrepresented ethnic groups; 66% women) revealed ethnic and gender variation in the amount of mentoring that participants reported receiving. Findings also showed that higher levels of instrumental mentoring at the study’s outset predicted higher STEM self-efficacy 1 year later. This finding was not moderated by ethnicity or gender, suggesting that instrumental mentoring bolsters self-efficacy among students from diverse backgrounds. To supplement the quantitative findings, we collected open-ended data from a subset of participants’ mentors (N = 97). Thematic analysis of these data provides insight into the range of strategies that mentors used to bolster students’ STEM self-efficacy.

Keywords

STEM; Higher education; Mentor; Self-efficacy; Racial and ethnic differences

Disciplines

Education | Educational Psychology | Higher Education

Language

English

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