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Research skills and STEM undergraduate research students' aspirations for research careers: Mediating effects of research self-efficacy


Correspondence to: Omolola A. Adedokun; E-mail:


Positive student outcomes of undergraduate research experiences (UREs) have been well documented, however, many studies have neglected the logical relationship among outcomes, the processes through which they are achieved, and the contextual and participant factors at play in UREs. This study uses structural equation modeling to explore these issues in a URE program. The study tested a hypothesized model of the mediating effect of participant research self-efficacy on the relationship between their research skills and desire to persist in science. Results indicate that research skills and research self-efficacy predict student aspirations for research careers, and that the effects of research skills are partially mediated through self-efficacy beliefs. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 50: 940–951, 2013