Alexandria Digital Research Library

Examining the Math Attitudes, Math Self-Efficacy, and STEM Outcomes Among Native and Non-Native English Speakers Using a Latent Class Analysis

Dang, Myley
Degree Supervisor:
Mary E. Brenner
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
STEM outcomes
Non-native English speaker
Latent class analysis
Math self-efficacy
Math attitudes
Online resources and Dissertations, Academic
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Education
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2015

Our nation faces an exponentially high demand for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) professionals and a scarce supply of individuals who pursue STEM careers, especially multilingual individuals. Particularly among students who are non-native English speakers (i.e., students whose native language is not English), there is little information on what role math attitudes and math self-efficacy play in understanding STEM outcomes. This information is critical to inform educators and policymakers on how to better prepare students and provide them the proper skills to be college and career-ready in STEM careers. To address this need, this dissertation explores the relationship between native and non-native English speakers' math attitudes and math self-efficacy with their 12th grade math achievement, STEM bachelor degree attainment, and STEM career attainment. More specifically, this study examines students' STEM outcomes at three levels of educational attainment including the graduation of high school, community college, and university.

Using the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS:2002), I performed a latent class analysis (LCA) to group a nationally representative sample of U.S. 10 th grade students (N=9,270) based on their math attitudes and math self-efficacy. Fitting independent LCAs on the sample of non-native and native English speaking groups revealed that there were different patterns of math attitudes and math self-efficacy among these groups. Results from this study suggest that regardless of English proficiency level, female students were less likely to have high math attitudes and high math self-efficacy beliefs relative to their male peers. In regards to STEM outcomes, students with high math attitudes and high math self-efficacy had higher 12th math achievement scores and had higher proportions of individuals with a STEM degree and STEM career. In particular, results from this study suggest that math self-efficacy played a stronger role in predicting STEM outcomes regardless of math attitudes. In regards to non-native English speakers, those with at least a bachelor's degree were not far behind their native English speaking peers in terms of their STEM outcomes. Findings from this study will help educators and researchers understand ways to support positive math attitudes and math self-efficacy, particularly for non-native English speakers and female students so that they can persist in STEM and meet the high demand for STEM professionals. Additionally, findings from this study indicate the need for positive perceptions of non-native speakers and recognize the important roles they may play in creating a multilingual STEM workforce.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (214 pages)
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
Catalog System Number:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Myley Dang
File Description
Access: Public access
Dang_ucsb_0035D_12730.pdf pdf (Portable Document Format)