MCA: Towards a theory of engineering identity development and persistence of minoritized students with imposter feelings: A longitudinal mixed-methods study of developmental networks
Supported by The National Science Foundation
Project led by:
Rajashi Ghosh, PhD
The project aims to develop a theory on the relationship between minoritized students’ developmental networks and their engineering identity and disposition development. The research includes a longitudinal data analysis, experimental research, use of Subject-Object Interview (SOI) to assess developmental stage empirically as an antecedent of developmental networks, and quantitative and qualitative examination of Imposter Phenomenon (IP). The study integrates the Social Cognitive Career Theory and the theoretical framework of Intersectionality to theorize the value of developmental networks as a relational space that can enable minoritized students to address imposter feelings stemming from the conflict between their multiple identities through intersectional identity work. The project will examine three overarching research questions: (1) What individual and environmental factors predict the structure and content of developmental networks associated with engineering identity and persistence of women and students of color over time? (2) How does the structure of one’s developmental network in terms of strength of relationships with developers similar and dissimilar to women and minoritized students in terms of race/gender and density in regard to the extent to which those developers know each other influence their likelihood of overcoming imposter feelings and develop engineering identity to persist in engineering over time? (3)How does the content of one’s developmental network in terms of culturally relevant mentoring support received from developers from multiple social spheres influence their likelihood of overcoming imposter feelings and develop engineering identity to persist in engineering over time? Quantitative and qualitative data will be collected from minoritized engineering students who will participate in surveys, workshops, and exercises and analyzed using correlational analysis, means, standard deviations, reliability analysis of scale, demographic instruments, latent growth curve modeling, and structural equation modeling. The results of the project are expected to broaden the understanding of factors that increase STEM persistence among women and minoritized students.