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The Consequences of Chronic Stereotype Threat: Domain Disidentification and Abandonment

"This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record." Stereotype threat impairs performance across many domains. Despite a wealth of research, the long-term consequences of chronic stereotype threat have received little empirical attention. Beyond the immediate impact on performance, the experience of chronic stereotype threat is hypothesized to lead to domain disidentification and eventual domain abandonment. Stereotype threat is 1 explanation why African Americans and Hispanic/Latino(a)s “leak” from each juncture of the academic scientific pipeline in disproportionately greater numbers than their White and Asian counterparts. Using structural equation modeling, we tested the stereotype threat-disidentification hypothesis across 3 academic years with a national longitudinal panel of undergraduate minority science students. Experience of stereotype threat was associated with scientific disidentification, which in turn predicted a significant decline in the intention to pursue a scientific career. Race/ethnicity moderated this effect, whereby the effect was evident for Hispanic/Latino(a) students but not for all African American students. We discuss findings in terms of understanding chronic stereotype threat.

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