Predictors of Intent to Pursue a College Health Science Education among High Achieving Minority 10th Graders

  • Katarzyna A. Zebrak University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, 2387 SPH Building, Valley Drive, College Park, MD 20742, United States
  • Daisy Le University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, 2387 SPH Building, Valley Drive, College Park, MD 20742, United States
  • Bradley O. Boekeloo University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, 2360 SPH Building, Valley Drive, College Park, MD 20742, United States
  • Min Qi Wang University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, 2373 SPH Building, Valley Drive, College Park, MD 20742, United States
Keywords: minority, youth, self-efficacy, adult support, college education, health science

Abstract

Minority populations are underrepresented in fields of science, perhaps limiting scientific perspectives.  Informed by recent studies using social cognitive career theory, this study examined whether three conceptual constructs: self-efficacy, perceived adult support, and perceived barriers, along with several discrete and immutable variables, were associated with intent to pursue college health science education in a sample (N = 134) of minority youth (67.2% African American).  A paper-and-pencil survey about pursuit of college health science was administered to 10th graders with a B- or better grade point average from six high schools in an underserved community.  Results indicated that the three conceptual constructs were bivariate correlates of intent to pursue college health science.  Only perceived adult support and knowing whether a parent received college education were significant predictors in a multiple regression model.  These results build on previous research and provide further insight into youth decision-making regarding pursuit of college health science.

Author Biographies

Katarzyna A. Zebrak, University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, 2387 SPH Building, Valley Drive, College Park, MD 20742, United States

Ms. Zebrak is a doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.  Her principal research interest involves interrelationships of substance use, mental health and other health-related behaviors and outcomes among urban African Americans, particularly when examined over the life course. 

Daisy Le, University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, 2387 SPH Building, Valley Drive, College Park, MD 20742, United States

Ms. Le is a doctoral student and graduate research and teaching assistant with the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her primary research interest is in sexual and reproductive health amongst minority populations, particularly with community-based participatory research on cervical cancer prevention, care, and control within the inner-city Southeast Asian and adolescent populations. Currently, Ms. Le is working in the CHAMP research lab in the areas of cancer, health disparities, and health communication among others.

Bradley O. Boekeloo, University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, 2360 SPH Building, Valley Drive, College Park, MD 20742, United States

Dr. Boekeloo is a professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, as well as a director of Prevention Research Center.  Dr. Boekeloo is also a principal investigator on the Climbing Up and Reaching Back project, which provided data for the current study.  His research interests include youth development, HIV/STD, and risk behaviors.

Min Qi Wang, University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, 2373 SPH Building, Valley Drive, College Park, MD 20742, United States

Dr. Wang is a professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Dr. Wang has 20 years of experience in providing statistical,  data management, programming services to a variety of academic institutions including areas of national surveys, research design, sampling, linear and nonlinear models, large and complex data analysis using SAS, SPSS, Stata, Mplus, SUDAAN, and LISREL.

Published
2013-08-27
How to Cite
Zebrak, K., Le, D., Boekeloo, B., & Wang, M. (2013). Predictors of Intent to Pursue a College Health Science Education among High Achieving Minority 10th Graders. Current Issues in Education, 16(2). Retrieved from https://cie.asu.edu/ojs/index.php/cieatasu/article/view/1179
Section
Articles