Dimensions of Math Anxiety in 9-11 Year Olds

Title: Dimensions of Math Anxiety in 9-11 Year Olds

Faculty Member(s):  Jeannie Montagano, PhD



The literature seems to suggest that mathematics anxiety is related to math performance. Mathematics anxiety tends to influence participation in math, and is associated with lower high school and college math grades, lower enjoyment of math, lower math learning, mastery, and motivation. This anxiety negatively impedes a student’s ability to understand and execute mathematically based problems and may be a contributing factor to the overall societal decline in mathematical performance. It has been found that mathematics anxiety first surfaces in Grade 4 indicating a need for a study that looks at mathematics anxiety in 9- to 11-year-old children. This evidence is based on a number of different questionnaires measuring mathematics anxiety. However, there is ample evidence that what is regarded as mathematics anxiety is different for different questionnaires.  There have been a number of exploratory factorial analyses of various mathematics anxiety questionnaires with little consensus on what dimensions make up mathematics anxiety. Only a few studies have been conducted on mathematics anxiety in elementary school students, and most have not used scales developed for or appropriate for elementary-aged children. It is therefore, difficulty to decide which conclusions about mathematics anxiety, based on these questionnaires, are correct for elementary school students.  I would like to continue my research interests in determining how math anxiety differs from test anxiety in elementary age populations.

References:  (Click on article to review)

Geist, Eugene (2010).  The anti-anxiety curriculum: Combating math anxiety in the classroom.  Journal of Instructional Psychology, 37(1)

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