First Advisor

Ellen Skinner

Date of Publication

Spring 8-16-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Minorities in science, Minority college students, Medical sciences -- Study and teaching (Internship), Belonging (Social psychology), Self-efficacy, Academic achievement



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 216 pages)


Although calls for a more diverse workforce in biomedical fields have been widespread, racial and ethnic gaps in biomedical degree attainment persist. In order to succeed, URM STEM students must persevere despite numerous challenges and stay continuously motivated on the long road to degree attainment in biomedical disciplines. Past higher education research has identified two key self-appraisals, a sense of belonging and self-efficacy, as crucial for student success. These beliefs, which can serve as motivational resources for students, include students' convictions about whether they are a valued member of their academic community and whether they have what it takes to succeed in their discipline. This study explored how participation in an undergraduate research training program and students' motivational resources may be shaping their academic performance and thus contributing to their successful completion of undergraduate biomedical degrees. The study also dissected program participation into five components and explored whether a sense of belonging or self-efficacy played a mediational role in the relationship between program participation and academic performance for URM STEM students. Single and multiple linear regression analyses were used and results indicated significant links between overall program participation and both motivational resources as well as significant connections between various program components and these self-perceptions. No significant relationship surfaced between overall program participation and academic performance but in a multiple regression analysis, research dosage was linked to performance for students in the study. Additionally, no significant connection was found between the motivational resources and academic performance and thus, the mediational role of a sense of belonging and self-efficacy in the relationship between program participation and performance could not be tested.


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