Mathematics and Test Anxiety

Jeannie Montagano and Rudi Bailey (Educational &Counseling Psychology)

Differentiating mathematics anxiety and test anxiety in a Trinidad sample

This is the fourth study in a series of studies.  The first two established that mathematics anxiety and test anxiety are different constructs in two samples of American students.  Mathematics and test anxieties are important conditions to which neither psychologists nor teachers pay much attention.  The studies done by Drs Montagano and Bailey and the nineteen presentations that have been accepted by professional psychologists’ groups are beginning to revive interest in thinking about these anxieties.  It is time to begin to investigate whether these conditions exist in other countries.  This proposal is to conduct the second and third studies in Trinidad.

In the first Trinidad study, the constructs that underlie mathematics anxiety and test anxiety will be examined using the statistical technique of factor analysis. Three questionnaires used before, IRB 11-052, will be administered to students in Grades 3-6 from a number of schools in Trinidad.

Questions to be addressed are:  1) What are the factors that make up mathematics anxiety in elementary-aged students in Trinidad? And, 2) Is mathematics anxiety separate from test anxiety in elementary-aged students in Trinidad?

In the second study the relationship between teacher anxiety and student anxiety will be examined.  In reviewing the literature concerning the variables that impact students’ math and test anxiety the present thinking seems to be that teachers’ anxiety needs to be considered.  This link has not been directly established; therefore, research is needed to investigate this association.  

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