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The declining prominence of the United States during recent decades in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) domains is due in part to the under-representation (and therefore loss of talent) of women and African Americans in those domains. This project focuses on the race-related beliefs and parenting practices of African American parents that are relevant for youths’ science and mathematics motivation. We are examining links between parents’ beliefs (e.g., perceptions of discrimination in the school setting, beliefs about reasons for race gaps in achievement, perceptions of their own children’s math and science talent) and their encouragement of their children’s success in STEM domains. Youth and their parents from 380 families are participating as students proceed through middle school.

This research is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Stephanie Rowley at the University of Michigan and is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant #DRL-1251736. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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