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Assessing the Role of Gender Rejection Sensitivity, Identity, and Support on the Academic Engagement of Women in Nontraditional Fields using Experience Sampling Methods

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  • Portions of the work reported in this article were supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Award #0733918) awarded to the first author. Support in the preparation of this article was received while the first author was a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation.

Bonita London, Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2500 [e-mail: bonita.london@stonybrook.edu].

Abstract

Efforts to understand and alleviate the pervasive underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields may benefit from the utilization of research methodologies that can model STEM engagement from multiple levels of analysis. We discuss the utility of experience sampling methodology (ESM) in capturing this broad range of factors that contribute to women's success and engagement in STEM fields—as well as other fields in which women have historically been underrepresented—with special focus on the importance of identity, social support, and gender-based rejection. We propose that the use of ESM may provide fine-grained details of women's STEM experiences, and thus model the challenges they face in STEM fields. The advantages of using ESM for capturing repeated measures of affect and behavior, the use of electronic methods of data collection, and the use of ESM to administer interventions are discussed.

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