Award Date

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Rachael D. Robnett

Second Committee Member

Jennifer L. Rennels

Third Committee Member

Murray G. Millar

Fourth Committee Member

Stefani Relles

Number of Pages



Gender inequality is a persistent challenge in fields related to science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) in the U.S. The current study aims to advance the literature in a burgeoning area of inquiry by identifying factors that may help to account for women’s success in STEM. To evaluate STEM success, I used a mixed methods design to investigate STEM identity, career identity status, career commitment, and both individual and situational resilience among women undergraduates. Students were engaged in two project-based STEM programs organized at a large, diverse, research intensive university in the Southwest U.S. Associations between resilience and career commitment, as well as narrative insight into resilience and career identity status emerged. Results further psychological insight into STEM success while providing insight into women’s experiences in active-learning programs. Findings also suggest avenues to enrich theoretical models and help inform new directions to examine in educational and career development programs or interventions in STEM.


career commitment; identity; persistence; resilience; STEM success; women in STEM


Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Psychology | Science and Mathematics Education



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