Publications by year
Rutland A (In Press). Preparing the Next Generation for STEM:. Adolescent Profiles Encompassing Math and Science Motivation and Interpersonal Skills and their Associations with Identity and Belonging. Youth and Society
Joy A, Mathews CJ, Zhao M, Law F, McGuire L, Hoffman AJ, Balkwill F, Burns KP, Butler L, Drews M, et al
(2023). Interest, Mindsets and Engagement: Longitudinal Relations in Science Orientations for Adolescents in Informal Science Programs. J Youth Adolesc
Interest, Mindsets and Engagement: Longitudinal Relations in Science Orientations for Adolescents in Informal Science Programs.
Little is known about the factors that influence engagement for adolescents participating in informal youth science programs. This study examined longitudinal reciprocal associations between adolescents' science engagement, interest, and growth mindset. Participants were adolescents (Mage = 15.06, SD = 1.82 years, 66.8% female) from the UK (n = 168) and the US (n = 299). A cross lagged path analysis indicated that participants' science growth mindset at baseline was positively related to interest, and engagement at year 1, and science interest at year 1 was positively related to growth mindset at year 2. Additionally, girls had lower science growth mindsets than boys. This evidence suggests that informal programs may encourage positive STEM trajectories by fostering engagement, growth mindset and interest. Abstract
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Law F (2022). Children's Engagement with Parents and Educators at Informal STEM Learning Sites: the Role of Gender. 2022 AERA Annual Meeting. 1st - 4th Apr 2022.
McGuire L, Hoffman AJ, Mulvey KL, Hartstone-Rose A, Winterbottom M, Joy A, Law F, Balkwill F, Burns KP, Butler L, et al
(2022). Gender Stereotypes and Peer Selection in STEM Domains Among Children and Adolescents. Sex Roles
Gender Stereotypes and Peer Selection in STEM Domains Among Children and Adolescents
AbstractGender stereotypes are harmful for girls’ enrollment and performance in science and mathematics. So far, less is known about children’s and adolescents’ stereotypes regarding technology and engineering. In the current study, participants’ (N = 1,206, girls n = 623; 5–17-years-old, M = 8.63, SD = 2.81) gender stereotypes for each of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) domains were assessed along with the relation between these stereotypes and a peer selection task in a STEM context. Participants reported beliefs that boys are usually more skilled than are girls in the domains of engineering and technology; however, participants did not report gender differences in ability/performance in science and mathematics. Responses to the stereotype measures in favor of one’s in-group were greater for younger participants than older participants for both boys and girls. Perceptions that boys are usually better than girls at science were related to a greater likelihood of selecting a boy for help with a science question. These findings document the importance of domain specificity, even within STEM, in attempts to measure and challenge gender stereotypes in childhood and adolescence. Abstract
Zhao M, Mathews CJ, Mulvey KL, Hartstone-Rose A, McGuire L, Hoffman AJ, Winterbottom M, Joy A, Law F, Balkwill F, et al
(2022). Promoting Diverse Youth’s Career Development through Informal Science Learning: the Role of Inclusivity and Belonging. Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Promoting Diverse Youth’s Career Development through Informal Science Learning: the Role of Inclusivity and Belonging
AbstractLittle research has examined the associations between perceived inclusivity within informal science learning sites, youth program belonging and perceptions of program career preparation. This study explored relations between these factors at three timepoints (T1 = start of program, T2 = 3 months and T3 = 12 months after start). Participants were a diverse sample of 209 adolescents participating in STEM youth programs within informal science learning sites situated in the United States and United Kingdom (70% females: Mage = 15.27, SDage = 1.60), with 53.1% British and 64.1% non-White. Path analysis revealed that only perceptions of inclusivity for own social identity group (i.e. gender, ethnicity) at T1 were associated with T2 STEM youth program belonging. There was a significant indirect effect of T1 perceptions of inclusivity for one’s own social identity groups on T3 perceptions of program career preparation via T2 program belonging. This study highlights that, over time, perceptions of inclusivity around youth’s own social identity groups (i.e. gender and ethnicity/culture) are related to a sense of youth program belonging, which in turn is later associated with perceptions of program career preparation. Abstract
Mathews CJ, McGuire L, Joy A, Law F, Winterbottom M, Rutland A, Drews M, Hoffman AJ, Mulvey KL, Hartstone-Rose A, et al
(2021). Assessing adolescents' critical health literacy: How is trust in government leadership associated with knowledge of COVID-19?. PLoS One
Assessing adolescents' critical health literacy: How is trust in government leadership associated with knowledge of COVID-19?
This study explored relations between COVID-19 news source, trust in COVID-19 information source, and COVID-19 health literacy in 194 STEM-oriented adolescents and young adults from the US and the UK. Analyses suggest that adolescents use both traditional news (e.g. TV or newspapers) and social media news to acquire information about COVID-19 and have average levels of COVID-19 health literacy. Hierarchical linear regression analyses suggest that the association between traditional news media and COVID-19 health literacy depends on participants' level of trust in their government leader. For youth in both the US and the UK who used traditional media for information about COVID-19 and who have higher trust in their respective government leader (i.e. former US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson) had lower COVID-19 health literacy. Results highlight how youth are learning about the pandemic and the importance of not only considering their information source, but also their levels of trust in their government leaders. Abstract
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Law F, McGuire L, Winterbottom M, Rutland A
(2021). Children’s Gender Stereotypes in STEM Following a One-Shot Growth Mindset Intervention in a Science Museum. Frontiers in Psychology
Children’s Gender Stereotypes in STEM Following a One-Shot Growth Mindset Intervention in a Science Museum
Women are drastically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and this underrepresentation has been linked to gender stereotypes and ability related beliefs. One way to remedy this may be to challenge male bias gender stereotypes around STEM by cultivating equitable beliefs that both female and male can excel in STEM. The present study implemented a growth mindset intervention to promote children’s incremental ability beliefs and investigate the relation between the intervention and children’s gender stereotypes in an informal science learning site. Participants (n = 143, female n = 77, male n = 66, 5–12-years-old, Mage = 8.6, SD = 1.7) were visitors to a science museum who took part in an interactive space science show. Participants who were exposed to a growth mindset intervention, compared to the participants in the control condition, reported significantly less gender stereotyping around STEM by reporting equitably in the stereotype awareness measure. Relatedly, participants in the control condition reported male bias gender stereotype in the stereotype awareness measure. Further, children between 5 and 8-years-old reported greater male bias stereotypes awareness and stereotype flexibility in space science compared to children between 9 and 12-years-old. Lastly, children demonstrated in-group bias in STEM ability. Male participants reported gender bias favoring males’ ability in stereotype flexibility and awareness measures, while female participants reported bias toward females’ ability in stereotype flexibility and awareness measures. These findings document the importance of a growth mindset intervention in buffering against STEM gender stereotyping amongst children, as well as the significant role a growth mindset intervention can play within an informal science learning site. Abstract
McGuire L, Hoffman AJ, Mulvey KL, Winterbottom M, Balkwill F, Burns KP, Chatton M, Drews M, Eaves N, Fields GE, et al (2021). Impact of Youth and Adult Informal Science Educators on Youth Learning at Exhibits. Visitor Studies, 25(1), 41-59.
McGuire L, Monzavi T, Hoffman AJ, Law F, Irvin MJ, Winterbottom M, Hartstone-Rose A, Rutland A, Burns KP, Butler L, et al
(2021). Science and Math Interest and Gender Stereotypes: the Role of Educator Gender in Informal Science Learning Sites. Front Psychol
Science and Math Interest and Gender Stereotypes: the Role of Educator Gender in Informal Science Learning Sites.
Interest in science and math plays an important role in encouraging STEM motivation and career aspirations. This interest decreases for girls between late childhood and adolescence. Relatedly, positive mentoring experiences with female teachers can protect girls against losing interest. The present study examines whether visitors to informal science learning sites (ISLS; science centers, zoos, and aquariums) differ in their expressed science and math interest, as well as their science and math stereotypes following an interaction with either a male or female educator. Participants (n = 364; early childhood, n = 151, M age = 6.73; late childhood, n = 136, M age = 10.01; adolescence, n = 59, M age = 13.92) were visitors to one of four ISLS in the United States and United Kingdom. Following an interaction with a male or female educator, they reported their math and science interest and responded to math and science gender stereotype measures. Female participants reported greater interest in math following an interaction with a female educator, compared to when they interacted with a male educator. In turn, female participants who interacted with a female educator were less likely to report male-biased math gender stereotypes. Self-reported science interest did not differ as a function of educator gender. Together these findings suggest that, when aiming to encourage STEM interest and challenge gender stereotypes in informal settings, we must consider the importance of the gender of educators and learners. Abstract
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Joy A, Law F, McGuire L, Mathews C, Hartstone-Rose A, Winterbottom M, Rutland A, Fields GE, Mulvey KL
(2021). Understanding Parents' Roles in Children's Learning and Engagement in Informal Science Learning Sites. Front Psychol
Understanding Parents' Roles in Children's Learning and Engagement in Informal Science Learning Sites.
Informal science learning sites (ISLS) create opportunities for children to learn about science outside of the classroom. This study analyzed children's learning behaviors in ISLS using video recordings of family visits to a zoo, children's museum, or aquarium. Furthermore, parent behaviors, features of the exhibits and the presence of an educator were also examined in relation to children's behaviors. Participants included 63 children (60.3% female) and 44 parents in 31 family groups. Results showed that parents' science questions and explanations were positively related to children observing the exhibit. Parents' science explanations were also negatively related to children's science explanations. Furthermore, children were more likely to provide science explanations when the exhibit was not interactive. Lastly there were no differences in children's behaviors based on whether an educator was present at the exhibit. This study provides further evidence that children's interactions with others and their environment are important for children's learning behaviors. Abstract
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Mulvey KL, McGuire L, Hoffman AJ, Goff E, Rutland A, Winterbottom M, Balkwill F, Irvin MJ, Fields GE, Burns K, et al
(2020). Interest and learning in informal science learning sites: Differences in experiences with different types of educators. PLoS One
Interest and learning in informal science learning sites: Differences in experiences with different types of educators.
This study explored topic interest, perceived learning and actual recall of exhibit content in 979 children and adolescents and 1,184 adults who visited informal science learning sites and interacted with an adult or youth educator or just the exhibit itself as part of family visits to the sites. Children in early childhood reported greater topic interest and perceived learning, but actually recalled less content, than participants in middle childhood or adolescence. Youth visitors reported greater interest after interacting with a youth educator than just the exhibit, and perceived that they learn more if they interact with an educator (youth or adult). Participants in middle childhood recall more when they encounter a youth educator. Adult visitors reported greater interest after interaction with a youth educator than with the exhibit alone or an adult educator. They also perceived that they learn more if they interact with an educator (youth or adult) than just the exhibit and perceived that they learned more if they interacted with a youth educator than an adult educator. Results highlight the benefits of educators in informal science learning sites and document the importance of attention to developmental needs. Abstract
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Mulvey KL, McGuire L, Hoffman AJ, Hartstone-Rose A, Winterbottom M, Balkwill F, Fields GE, Burns K, Drews M, Chatton M, et al
(2020). Learning hand in hand: Engaging in research-practice partnerships to advance developmental science. New Dir Child Adolesc Dev
Learning hand in hand: Engaging in research-practice partnerships to advance developmental science.
Developmental science research often involves research questions developed by academic teams, which are tested within community or educational settings. In this piece, we outline the importance of research-practice partnerships, which involve both research and practice-based partners collaborating at each stage of the research process. We articulate challenges and benefits of these partnerships for developmental science research, identify relevant research frameworks that may inform these partnerships, and provide an example of an ongoing research-practice partnership. Abstract
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