Influence of Role Models and Mentors On Female Graduate Students’ Choice of Science as a Career

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Fried, Toni
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Mount Saint Vincent University
The purpose of the present study was to examine the source, nature, and degree of influence that role models/mentors have had on female graduate students’ choice of science as a career. Also explored was the question of whether the influence of role models/mentors differed between male and female science graduate students in general and within the biological and physical sciences A related purpose of this study was to test the validity and reliability of the adapted version of the Influence of Others on Academic and Career Decisions Scale (lOACDS, Nauta & Kokaly, 2001) on a graduate student population. The results of the factor analysis on the lOACDS adapted version corroborated Nauta’s finding that role models and mentors are two distinct entities that influence students in distinctly different ways. Significant gender, area of study, and undergraduate country differences were found on the adapted version of the lOACDS as well as for the types of role models/mentors identified.
Role Models and Mentors , Science as a Career , Female Graduate , Academic and Career Decisions Scale