Date of Award
Master of Science
Effective research training environments (RTEs) within graduate psychology degree
programs have been shown to increase students' level of research self-efficacy (RSE). Higher
levels of student RSE are likely associated with the greater perceptions of the utility of research
skills and a greater willingness to engage in research-based activities in later professional work.
Relations among the variables of RTEs, RSE, and continuing research-based activities have been
well established among graduate psychology students, but the effect of RTEs in undergraduate
psychology training has not yet been examined. The focus of students’ perceived utility of their
research skills post-graduation was a new addition to the literature in this area. Guided by Social
Cognitive and Social Cognitive Career Theory, I examined the model of effective RTEs
suggested by Gelso et al. (1996) and its effects on my variables of interest, within an
undergraduate psychology student sample. Specifically, I examined a moderated mediation
model involving RTE, RSE, perceived utility of research skills, and willingness to engage in
future research. I found that RTEs in undergraduate training increased student RSE, and that
student RSE significantly mediated the direct effect of RTE on students’ willingness to engage in
research in post-graduation employment. Students’ perceived utility of their research skills in
post-graduation employment did not moderate the indirect effect of student RSE. I discuss
recommendations concerning the use of effective RTEs to enhance undergraduate psychology
students' development and use of research-based skills in future work environments.
Burke, Kaitlyn, "Undergraduate research training environments: Impact on research self-efficacy, perceived utility of research, and willingness to engage in research post-graduation" (2018). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 16555.