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Dataset associated with "Seeking congruity for agentic women: a longitudinal examination of college women's persistence in STEM"


An abundance of literature has examined barriers to women's equal representation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, with many studies showing that STEM fields are not perceived to afford communal goals, a key component of women's interest in future careers. Using Goal Congruity Theory as a framework, we tested the longitudinal impact of perceptions of STEM career goal affordances, communal and agentic goals, and their congruity on persistence in science from the second through fourth years of college among women in STEM majors. We found that women's intent to persist in science were highest in fall of their second year, that persistence intentions exhibited a sharp decline, and that eventually leveled off by their fourth year of college. This pattern was moderated by perceptions of agentic affordances in STEM, such that women with higher perceptions of agentic affordances experienced smaller declines. Similar to prior research, we found that higher perceptions of communal goal affordances in STEM consistently predicted higher persistence intentions. Finally, we found an agentic goal-affordance congruity interaction, such that higher perceptions of agentic affordances in STEM predicted higher persistence intentions; however, the positive relationship was stronger for women with higher agentic goals. We conclude that because STEM fields are stereotyped as affording agentic goals, women who identify interest in a STEM major during their first year of college may be drawn to these fields for this reason, and may benefit from perceptions that STEM affords both communal and agentic goals.


Those interested in using these data are encouraged to contact Dr. Paul Hernandez ( and Dr. Emily Fischer ( for more information. Data Contacts: Paul R. Hernandez (primary),, 979-464-9229 Emily V. Fischer,, 970-491-8587.
Survey data were collected via the online Qualtrics survey system twice yearly in the fall and spring semesters from fall 2015 through spring 2019. This repository contains the data file associated with all surveys utilized in the analyses presented in this research article.
Format of Data Files: Data files are in .csv format. Files can be opened by most software (e.g., Notepad, WordPad, Excel) – anything that can read a comma delimited ASCII text file. Here, the file name is "Dataset." In addition, a codebook accompanies the data file. The codebook contains the variable names, variable labels, and value labels for all variables contained within the "Dataset.csv" file.
Department of Atmospheric Science

Rights Access


women in STEM
goal congruity theory
communal goals
agentic goals
scientific persistence intentions


Associated Publications

Henderson, H.L., Bloodhart, B., Adams, A.S. et al. Seeking congruity for communal and agentic goals: a longitudinal examination of U.S. college women’s persistence in STEM. Soc Psychol Educ 25, 649–674 (2022).