Computing Interests of Early Adolescents: Gender, Attitudes, Self-Efficacy, and Outcome Expectations
Wu, Zhen, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Shoffner, Marie, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
This study assessed fifth and seventh grade students' level of computing interest based on Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown, Hackett, 1994, 2000) by examining computer self-efficacy, computing outcome expectations, and four aspects of computer attitudes (computer affective attitude, computer behavioral attitude, computer cognitive attitude, and perceived computer control). The results revealed that the modified SCCT model was useful in explaining fifth and seventh grade students' computing interests and the model was invariant across gender. Girls had lower levels of computing interest than boys by the seventh grade. This gender difference was related to the less positive computer attitudes of girls compared to boys. These findings suggest that, in order to attract early adolescents to the computing field, interventions geared toward computer self-efficacy, computing outcome expectations, and computer attitudes, especially affective and behavioral attitudes, should be introduced before the sixth grade.
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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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