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Parents of Girls, Low-Income Students Less Likely to ­rge Kids to Study Computers


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A computer science classroom.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found parents of female and lower-income students were less likely to encourage their children to major in computer science.

Credit: pomona.edu

Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) researchers found parents of female and lower-income students were less likely to encourage their children to major in computer science than parents of male students and those in higher-income households.

Penn State's Jeffrey Stone said the study found that "Males were significantly more likely to agree that their parents stressed that computing skills were important. Females were less likely to agree that parents were stressing the importance of computer skills."

Stone suggested universities should apply wider-ranging outreach and recruitment strategies for computing majors, to focus particularly on parents.

He also said the sample size of the study (161 students) was small, so he hopes to be able to extend the study “to a much larger pool.”

From Penn State News
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