Leaper, C., Farkas, T., & Brown, C. (2012). Adolescent girls’ experiences and gender-related beliefs in relation to their motivation in math/science and English. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41(3), 268-282.
- The study examined factors that influence teenage girls’ academic motivation in math, science, and English.
- The authors analyzed survey data from 579 girls ages 13 to 18 years old in Georgia and California to estimate predictors of the girls’ academic motivation in math, science, and English. The survey asked about the youths’ (1) academic motivation for each subject; (2) grades in these subjects; (3) perceptions of support from family and peers in these subjects; (4) attitudes on gender identity, measured by perceived parental and peer pressure to conform with traditional gender roles, the degree to which the youth perceived themselves to be so-called typical girls, and youths’ level of contentedness with the gender expectations they face; (5) opinions on gender egalitarianism of specific tasks, such as making decisions for the family; and (6) exposure to feminism, as measured by whether the youth had heard of the women’s rights movement and feminism through media or conversations with family or friends, as well as whether the youth knew that their mothers, teachers, or classmates identified as feminists.
- The study found that the following factors were positively associated with the girls’ motivation in math and science: mother and peer support in these subjects, belief in gender equality, less pressure from parents to conform to gender norms, holding gender-egalitarian beliefs, and exposure to feminism ideas and/or feminists.
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