Date of Award

Summer 8-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dena Abbott


The gender wage gap, disadvantaging working women, continues to grow despite progress toward women’s rights and occupational equity. With the world economy prioritizing growth in technological industries, the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields perpetuates systemic gender inequity. Further, given traditional social gender roles, women and girls may be less likely than boys and men to pursue STEM careers. Though specialized programs seek to grow the number of girls and young women engaged in STEM-related education and prepare them for the growing demand for STEM laborers, these programs are regional, seasonal, and not widely available (Girls Who Code, 2019). Therefore, other cost-effective interventions are needed to help facilitate and maintain interest among girls and women in STEM-related subject matter and careers. As video games are associated with development of STEM skills (Bonner & Dorneich, 2016; Blickenstaff, 2005; Feng, Spence & Pratt, 2007; Giammarco et al., 2014), they may also serve as a mechanism by which to increase girls’ and women’s interest in STEM. The purpose of this study is to assess the relationships between video gaming, gender roles, career-decision self-efficacy, and STEM career interest and motivation. Specifically, video gaming as a potential moderator of the relationship between gender roles and STEM career interest and motivation will be explored.