Theses Doctoral

Statistical Models of Identity and Self-Efficacy in Mathematics on a National Sample of Black Adolescents from HSLS:09

Alexander, Nathan Napoleon

The research reported in this study examined statistical relations in black adolescents’ identity and self-efficacy beliefs in mathematics. Data for this research study were drawn from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09; Ingels, Dalton, Holder, Lauff, & Burns, 2011) and the study’s first follow-up (Ingels & Dalton, 2013); additional measures were taken from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Common Core of Data (CCD). Data were analyzed using quantitative methods on a nationally representative sample of secondary school students (N = 1,362) across 944 schools in the United States. Although there has been an increase in qualitative research on mathematics identity and mathematics identity development, few researchers have utilized quantitative methods to empirically examine the relationships existing between identity and self-efficacy. Fewer researchers have used panel (longitudinal) data in their investigations. Findings from this study confirmed the literature in that mathematics identity development pathways are informed by students’ mathematics self-efficacy beliefs. Sex differences were also noted. Specifically, males and females experienced divergence in their mathematics identity and mathematics self-efficacy beliefs during high school; however, the returns of these beliefs on a measure of Algebraic proficiency for females were significantly greater than they were for males, although females maintained less positive beliefs over the course of the study. School belonging and engagement significantly predicted shifts in students’ mathematics identity development pathways and were moderated by self-efficacy beliefs, supporting theories that measures of perceived differentiation (e.g., belongingness) are key factors in student motivation and subsequent outcomes. Additional findings underscored the ongoing need for empirical research on students’ peer networks and mathematics teacher’s classroom practices. Overall, results of this study indicated that variations in identity development and self-efficacy beliefs among adolescents extend beyond many theoretical considerations in both their complexity and measured effects when accounting for a host of contextual and psychosocial factors.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics Education
Thesis Advisors
Walker, Erica
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 11, 2015