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## Description

The purpose of this study is to inform and further the discussion of academic (i.e. teachers and school counselors) and non-academic (i.e. parents, family, friends, etc.) validating agents on Latina students’ mathematics and science self-concepts. This study found a relationship between Latina students’ interactions with academic and non-academic validating agents and their math and science self-concept at the K-12 level. Through the review of the literature the researcher addresses identifiable factors and strategies that inform the field of education in the areas of validation theory, family characteristics, and access to STEM fields for Latina students. The researcher used an established instrument designed, administered, and validated through the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). For purposes of this study, a categorical subset of participants who self-identified as being a Latina student was used. As a result, the total subset number in this study was N=1,882. To determine if academic and non-academic validating agents had an observable statistically significant relationship with Latina students’ math and science self-concept, a series of one-way ANOVAs were calculated to compare differences in students’ math and science self-concept based on academic and non-academic validating agents for the weighted sample of Latinas for the HLS:09 survey. A path analysis was also employed to assess the factors involved in Latina students’ math and science self-concepts. The findings are consistent with previous research involving the influence that academic and non-academic validating agents have on the math and science self-concept of Latina students. The results indicated that students who had teachers that believed in the students, regardless of family background, social economic status or home environment influences had higher math and science self concepts than those who did not. Similarly, it was found that students who had counselors that set high standards of learning and believed that all students could do well had higher math and science self concept than those who did not. Students who had parents that encouraged and discussed taking more math and science courses had higher math and science self concepts than those who did not.