Jenna Cambria

Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology – University of Arkansas, Educational Statistics and Research Methods

Jenna’s research interests focus on the facilitators and barriers of motivation for STEM.  Her doctoral research was focused on students’ motivation for informational text reading. This research also has larger societal implications.  If we are able to understand more deeply how to foster engagement for text comprehension, we can better prepare our students because students who are able to consume information will be better adjusted to the changing demands of the community and workforce.  Jenna presented and published several papers on the area of motivation, including a paper in Developmental Review that has been cited over 185 times. 

During her Pathways postdoctoral scholarship, Jenna continued to study motivation for STEM and focused more deeply on issues of gender and the differential processes that impact males’ and females’ career interests; my most recent paper has shown the gendered classroom effects that impact career interest in STEM. Specifically, she found that girls’ motivation for STEM is more heavily impacted by the influence of their peers’ achievement.  For example, within the domain of technology studies, a girl from a higher performing class will have significantly higher investigative vocational interests in STEM than a girl who has the same score from a lower achieving class, while boys were not impacted.

Jenna has presented her work at several national and international conferences during her Pathways postdoctoral scholarship.  This has included two papers on motivation for reading in STEM and one on gender and vocational interests for STEM. 

Guo, J., Nagengast, B., Marsh, H., Kelava, A., Gaspard. H., Brandt, H., Cambria, J. et al. (under review). Probing self-concept by task values interaction using multiple value facets and multiple academic outcomes. Contemporary Educational Psychology.

Hübner, H., Wille, E., Cambria, J., Oschatz, K., Nagengast, B., & Trautwein, U. (in prep) Gender-Specific Reform Effects on STEM-Related Outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology.

Cambria, J., Nagengast, B., Trautwein, U., (in prep). Vocational interests: The impact of class achievement and gender. Journal of Vocational Behavior.

Cambria, J. (in prep). Cognitive engagement as a mediator of expectancy-value and reading comprehension.

Cambria, J., Nagengast, B., & Trautwein, U. (in prep). Frame of reference effects of peer achievement on students’ values in mathematics and English.

Book Chapter
Cambria, J. & Dicke, A. (forthcoming) Rethinking Behavioral Engagement: Behavioural Manifestations in Context.  In: I. Schoon & R. K. Silbereisen (Eds.).  Pathways to Adulthood: Social inequalities, structure and agency and social change.