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Abstract

The intention of this research was to measure attitudes of young children toward women scientists. A 27-item instrument, the Early Childhood Women in Science Scale (ECWiSS) was validated in a test case of the proposition that differential socialization predicts entry into the scientific talent pool. Estimates of internal consistency indicated that the scale is highly reliable. Known groups and correlates procedures, employed to determine the validity of the instrument, revealed that the scale is able to discriminate significant differences between groups and distinguishes three dimensions of attitude (role-specific self-concept, home-related sex-role conflict, and work-related sex-role conflict). Results of the analyses also confirmed the anticipated pattern of correlations with measures of another construct. The findings suggest the utility of the ECWiSS for measurement of early childhood attitudes in models of the ascriptive and/or meritocratic processes affecting recruitment to science and more generally in program and curriculum evaluation where attitude toward women in science is the construct of interest.