International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Gender Differences in Fear of Failure amongst Engineering Students
Krista L. Nelson, Danielle N. Newman, Janelle R. McDaniel, Walter C. Buboltz

As interest in increasing the involvement of women in science and engineering grows, it is necessary to identify perceived barriers to success in the fields. The present study assessed the levels of fear of failure in male and female engineering students with the Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory (PFAI) and a demographic questionnaire at a mid-size southern university. Results indicated that females reported significantly higher fear of failure than their male counterparts. Females also demonstrated higher scores on the subscales Fears of Experiencing Shame and Embarrassment (FSE), Fears of Devaluing One’s Self-Estimate (FDSE), and Fears of Having an Uncertain Future (FUF). As Fear of Failure may be related to self-efficacy and self-esteem, these fears may impact women in their career development and decisions.

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