Mothers and microscopes, fathers and flasks : how parents and schools contribute to Latina adolescents' interest in STEM



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The primary aim of this research study is to examine how contextual and psychological variables interact on the development of Latina adolescents’ interests in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The literature review starts with an overview of career interest development theories and an identification of key common factors. The major factors of parent socialization and the social constructions of gender and ethnicity are then discussed with particular emphasis on how they may influence interest development for middle school Latina students. This section concludes with an investigation into differences in access to school science and math resources, an environmental factor that also impacts development. The final section proposes a quantitative analysis that will address various questions raised in the literature review. The proposed study consists of correlations and linear regressions, controlling for background variables, as well as investigating interactions between identified factors.