Date of Award

Winter 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Donald D. Davis

Committee Member

Miguel A. Padilla

Committee Member

Marilyn L. Peacock

Committee Member

Janis Sanchez-Hucles


The perception of stereotype threat among computer science students was examined at two universities. A model of stereotype threat was developed and tested among students enrolled in three undergraduate computer science courses at two universities. The goal of this model was to provide an understanding of the underlying mechanisms through which stereotype threat works.

The study tested relationships among the following variables: race-based stereotype threat, gender-based stereotype threat, goal orientation, CS self-efficacy, active coping, behavioral disengagement, effort, and performance. Structural equation modeling was used to test the measurement model and a series of nested structural models. Findings supported the proposed model of stereotype threat and most of the hypothesized relationships. Future directions and contributions of this research are discussed.


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