Goal-Congruity Theory Predicts Students' Sense of Belonging in Computing Across Racial/Ethnic Groups

Kathleen Isenegger, Kari L. George, Paul Bruno, Colleen M. Lewis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Students' goals may be one of many factors contributing to the underrepresentation of women, people who identify as Black, Hispanic, Latinx/a/o/∗, or Native, and first-generation college students in computing. This study examines whether students who desire a career that enables them to pursue communal goals: goals of working with or for the benefit of others (e.g., have a social impact, serve humanity, help others, or give back to their community) may be deterred from computing if they perceive it as incompatible with those goals. Using survey data from over 45,000 undergraduate students, results show that women, compared to men of their same racial/ethnic identity, endorse social impact goals at higher rates, and that the relationship between a student's sense of belonging in computing and their goals is moderated by their perception of the communal goal affordances of computing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2023: Proceedings of the 54th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450394314
StatePublished - Mar 2 2023


  • belonging
  • communal goals
  • diversity
  • inclusion
  • social impact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Computer Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Goal-Congruity Theory Predicts Students' Sense of Belonging in Computing Across Racial/Ethnic Groups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this