Does stereotype threat influence performance of girls in stereotyped domains? A meta-analysis

P.C. Flore, J.M. Wicherts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

197 Citations (Scopus)


Although the effect of stereotype threat concerning women and mathematics has been subject to various systematic reviews, none of them have been performed on the sub-population of children and adolescents. In this meta-analysis we estimated the effects of stereotype threat on performance of girls on math, science and spatial skills (MSSS) tests. Moreover, we studied publication bias and four moderators: test difficulty, presence of boys, gender equality within countries, and the type of control group that was used in the studies. We selected study samples when the study included girls, samples had a mean age below 18 years, the design was (quasi-)experimental, the stereotype threat manipulation was administered between-subjects, and the dependent variable was a MSSS test related to a gender stereotype favoring boys. To analyze the 47 effect sizes, we used random effects and mixed effects models. The estimated mean effect size equaled − 0.22 and significantly differed from 0. None of the moderator variables was significant; however, there were several signs for the presence of publication bias. We conclude that publication bias might seriously distort the literature on the effects of stereotype threat among schoolgirls. We propose a large replication study to provide a less biased effect size estimate.
Keywords: Stereotype threat, Math/science test performance, Gender gap, Test anxiety, Publication bias , Meta-analysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-44
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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