What predicts middle school girls’ interest in computing? (Denner 2011)
Denner, J. (2011). What predicts middle school girls’ interest in computing? International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 3(1), 54-69.
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- This paper analyzed white and Latina middle school girls’ interest in and knowledge of careers in computer science following their participation in a voluntary after-school and summer school program in central California.
- The author administered a survey to 140 program participants and conducted stepwise multiple regressions to identify factors that significantly affected the girls’ interest in computing classes and careers. The author also ran secondary analyses to address possible indirect or mediating influences on the girls’ interest in computing classes and careers.
- The study found that three factors significantly predicted girls’ interest in computing classes and careers: (1) a youth’s level of technological curiosity, (2) perceived support from school peers and teachers to pursue computing classes and degrees, and (3) feelings that computers were relevant to her life.
- The study also found that although perceived parental support and gender stereotypes did not directly predict the girls’ interest in computing classes and careers, these factors did indirectly predict girls’ interest in computing.