Date of Award

December 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Committee Member

Robert Sinclair

Committee Member

Patrick Rosopa

Committee Member

Mary Anne Taylor

Committee Member

Barbara Speziale


Participation in undergraduate research has been shown to improve students’ abilities and increase their interest in pursuing post-graduate education. However, previous research has focused on differentiating between participants and non-participants, not necessarily within-program differences that can affect these outcomes. In Creative Inquiry at Clemson University, student participants can assist with projects in a wide variety of fields and experience team-based learning with close mentor supervision. This dissertation sought to expand the undergraduate research literature by showing how positive development students experienced as part of their time in undergraduate research led to beneficial psychological and career-related outcomes following graduation. The results suggested that the skill development and growth opportunities undergraduate research participants undergo led to improvements in work self-efficacy, graduate school attendance, and career choice satisfaction. This dissertation also showed that within-program differences, such as mentorship, participation length, and project productivity, did not affect the relationships between development and outcomes, suggesting these benefits may be program-wide rather than individually specific. Implications for the Undergraduate Research/Industrial-Organizational Psychology literatures as well suggestions for practice are also discussed.



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