Social Cognitive Expectations and Racial Identity Attitudes in Predicting the Math Choice Intentions of Black College Students

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Abstract

This study extended social cognitive career theory (R. W. Lent, S. D. Brown, & G. Hackett, 1994) and racial identity theory (J. E. Helms, 1990) to the math-related interests and academic choice intentions of Black college students. Participants were 164 Black 1st-year undergraduates who completed measures of racial identity attitudes and math-related indexes of self-efficacy, outcome expectations, perceived sources of efficacy information, interests, and academic choice intentions. A social cognitive path model of students' math-related interests and choice intentions offered good overall fit to the data. Racial identity attitudes generally yielded small relations to the social cognitive variables and the outcome criteria. Self-efficacy and outcome expectations predicted interests, and interests predicted choice intentions, across racial identity attitude levels. Implications for practice and for further research on Black students' academic and career development patterns are considered.

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