Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Counseling Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (x, 99 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

LaRae Jome

Committee Members

Lorna Guyett, Richard Haase


career adaptability, identity compatibility, leaky pipeline, major commitment, STEM, women, Women college students, Women engineering students, Women science students, Science, Technology, Academic achievement

Subject Categories

Counseling Psychology


The ‘leaky pipeline’ is a metaphor often used to describe the progressive and persistent phenomenon that occurs when women who have initially planned on pursuing STEM careers drop out before a career is established (Cronin & Roger, 1999). Women pursuing STEM occupations often receive messages that they do not belong or are not expected to succeed in the field, which can negatively impact one’s academic performance, increase psychological stress, and influence one’s persistence within a field of study (Steele & Aronson, 1995; London, Downey, Bolger & Velilla, 2005). Using career construction theory (Savickas, 2013) as a framework, the current study explored factors that contribute to undergraduate women persisting in STEM majors, and whether the environmental stress or lack of belonging they may experience negatively impacts their commitment to pursuing a STEM degree. Career adaptability and social support were examined to shed light on the relationship between identity compatibility and women’s commitment to STEM majors.