Dutch study explores conscientiousness and the gender gap in achievement

In a new study for Research in Higher Education, authors Anne-Roos Verbree, Lisette Hornstra, Lientje Maas, and Leoniek Wijngaards-de Meij explore the relationship between conscientiousness and the gender gap in achievement. The authors studied Dutch university students and found that “conscientiousness fully mediated the gender gap in achievement,” even when controlling for high school achievement. They note that this may be due to higher levels of conscientiousness among women, which is seen as the trait that most strongly predicts academic achievement. The study examined conscientiousness in students with non-dominant ethnic backgrounds, and found that conscientiousness differs. In these instances, conscientiousness explained the gender gap for students with a dominant background more than for those with a non-dominant ethnic background. The authors write that the study indicates that institutions should implement measures to support male students in becoming more conscientious. Research in Higher Education Note: Archived stories may contain dead links or be missing source links.

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