Degree Type

Thesis (Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Date Information

May 2015

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Teresa Lyons

Comments

The goal of the present research was to determine whether the degree of parental involvement, views of femininity ideology and amount of self-determination impact female college students’ choice of major and performance in college. The purpose of this study also was to gain a better understanding of what influences college students to study certain subjects and for what reasons and to identify trends of major choice and academic performance. The research included a sample of 100 female undergraduate students from an Eastern Massachusetts university. The present study combined the use of surveys and interviews in order to examine if parental involvement, feminine ideology and self-determination predicted college major choice and GPA. The participants took part in an online survey in which they were asked demographic questions and rated statements that had to do with parental involvement, femininity ideology and self-determination. The participants of the survey were also given the opportunity to take part in an interview, in which the researcher asked open-ended questions that required further elaboration. When measuring the effects these variables had on the students’ GPA solely, there was a significant association. In particular, students’ femininity ideas of purity, parent’s school involvement and parent’s beliefs of putting effort were associated with GPA. It was also found that the predictor variables did not have any significant association with female college students’ choices of male-dominant or female-dominant majors. With such results, society may better understand what causes individuals to choose certain areas of study and its relation with how well they actually perform.

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