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Annals Of Applied Statistics


This paper represents a methodological-substantive synergy. A new model, the Mixed Effects Structural Equations (MESE) model which combines structural equations modeling and item response theory, is introduced to attend to measurement error bias when using several latent variables as predictors in generalized linear models. The paper investigates racial and gender disparities in STEM retention in higher education. Using the MESE model with 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data, I find prior mathematics proficiency and personality have been previously underestimated in the STEM retention literature. Pre-college mathematics proficiency and personality explain large portions of the racial and gender gaps. The findings have implications for those who design interventions aimed at increasing the rates of STEM persistence among women and underrepresented minorities.


Structural Equations Models, Item Response Theory, Stem Retention, Higher Education, Individual Achievement-Test, Stem Majors, Models, Personality, Persistence, Science, Women, Experiences, Minorities, Inference


This work is freely available courtesy of Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS).