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Gender difference in engineering academic performance: a wellbeing developmental explanation


F, J and Garate, P and Pullen, D and Swabey, KJ, Gender difference in engineering academic performance: a wellbeing developmental explanation, Proceedings of the 2017 Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference, 26-30 November, Canberra, Australia (2017) [Refereed Conference Paper]


High achieving first-year male and female engineering students were compared, to investigate how they differed in terms of psychological wellness, social-emotional well-being, positive aspirations and mental health. To date, no study has explored how or what constructs from a well-being paradigm are related to gender and academic performance. A total of 152 students (male= 121, and female = 31) took part in the study, and of these 20 high-achieving male, and 20 high-achieving female students were randomly selected. All students completed a mental health well-being survey, and their first-year academic results were compared to their well-being responses. Female students had lower scores on all first year engineering subjects compared to their male counterparts. More specifically, high-achieving male engineering students reported having higher self-esteem than their female counterparts, and their self-esteem was correlated with high academic achievement. Mental health well-being and positive aspirations were not correlated with academic achievement. However, students with better mental health performed superior to those who reported of having a mental health problem. Implications of the study are discussed in terms of well-being within an engineering gender context.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Gender, sexuality and education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Gender aspects in education
UTAS Author:F, J (Dr J F)
UTAS Author:Pullen, D (Dr Darren Pullen)
UTAS Author:Swabey, KJ (Professor Karen Swabey)
ID Code:125251
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2018-04-10
Last Modified:2019-11-08

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