Barriers Perceived by Pre-Engineering Students at FSc. Level and its Impact on Academic Satisfaction

  • Fatima Afsar National Institute of Psychology
  • Humaira Jami National Institute of Psychology
  • Huma Atta
  • Warda Saleh
Keywords: Barriers, Pre-Engineering, Academic Satisfaction, Exploratory Factor Analysis, Scale Development.


Adolescence is the most crucial developmental and emotional stage of life where educational decision-making takes center stage. This challenge is especially difficult for the students of pre-engineering. The highest attrition rate is prevalent in STEM due to a lack of interest and academic dissatisfaction among students which is in part due to a number of barriers perceived by them. Therefore, the major objectives for this research were to identify those perceived barriers, develop an indigenous valid and reliable measure for identifying perceived barriers in pursuing pre-engineering, quantify the most encountered barrier, and establish the impact of perceived barriers on academic satisfaction. The present research was accomplished in two phases. In Phase I, a 27-item Perceived Barriers in Pursuing Pre-Engineering Scale was developed by utilizing an empirical approach. Through principle component analysis of exploratory factor analysis (N = 324), 4 factors emerged, and another iteration gave 3 factors. However, a unidimensional scale was finalized following the consensus of Subject Matter Experts to maintain the theoretical integrity. In Phase II (N = 923), adequate psychometric properties of the measure were established. The most commonly reported barrier turned out to be pressure from the family on subject selection. A significantly negative relationship was found between perceived barriers and academic satisfaction. Male students reported higher scores on barriers and academic satisfaction than female students. This research has important implications for stakeholders seeking to rectify low enrollment rates in engineering.


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Author Biographies

Humaira Jami, National Institute of Psychology

Assistant Professor, National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad

Rank, 2

Huma Atta

Lecturer, Social Sciences Department, Iqra University Islamabad

Rank 3

Warda Saleh

Lecturer, Government Associate College for Women, Dhamial, Rawalpindi

Rank 4