Gender stereotype endorsement and achievement-related outcomes: The role of competence beliefs and task values

Isabelle Plante, Roxane De la Sablonnière, Joshua M. Aronson, Manon Théorêt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In most Western societies, males are stereotyped as having stronger mathematical abilities than females whereas females are stereotyped as having stronger verbal abilities than males. Exposure to negative ability stereotypes reliably undermines performance in laboratory experiments, yet the mechanisms by which such stereotypes may influence boys' and girls' achievement outcomes in the more naturalistic setting of primary and secondary school remain unclear. The current study evaluated a hypothesis suggested by expectancy-value theories (e.g., Eccles & Wigfield, 2002): the relationship between stereotypes and achievement outcomes is importantly mediated by a student's perceived competence and his or her valuation of the domain in question. We tested the hypothesis by examining the career intentions and grades of 762 sixth and eighth graders. As expected, even after controlling for prior achievement, stereotype endorsement primarily predicted grades and career intentions indirectly, through students' competence beliefs and task values. These results suggest that stereotypes predict achievement-related outcomes most clearly when students internalize them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Career intentions
  • Expectancy-value theory
  • Gender differences
  • Gender stereotypes
  • School performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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