Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Frederick A. Ernst

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert K. Dearth

Third Advisor

Dr. Amy A. Weimer


The study was designed to examine the role of familism and gender role beliefs on Latina pursuit of a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. This study surveyed Latino/a undergraduate students at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley to determine the influence of socioeconomic status, familism and gender role beliefs on pursuit of careers in STEM. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Pan-Hispanic Familism scale, the Attitudinal Familism scale and the Gender Role Beliefs scale. Findings revealed how major selection and pursuit of STEM is affected by students’ income level, familism, gender, and gender role beliefs. Results from this study can be applied to develop support mechanisms for Latinas pursuing a career in STEM.


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