Correlates of mathematics anxiety among African American high school juniors
Jones, Gloria Lynn
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Sixty-seven African American high school juniors in two high schools completed the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale for Adolescents (MARS-A), Mathematics Self-Efficacy Scale (MSES), and a demographic survey to assess mathematics anxiety. Analyses were conducted to examine relationships between mathematics anxiety and mathematics achievement, mathematics self-efficacy, mathematics success, and general academic success. Further analysis was conducted to investigate whether these variables differed as a function of gender. Interviews were conducted to investigate how a sample of participants described their mathematics experiences with high mathematics anxiety. The students’ mathematics self-efficacy was inversely correlated with their mathematics anxiety. There was no statistically significant difference in the mathematics anxiety levels of males and females. For the male students, mathematics achievement and mathematics self-efficacy were significantly related to mathematics anxiety, where as mathematics success and general academic success were not. For the female students, mathematics self-efficacy, mathematics success, and general academic success were significantly related to mathematics anxiety, but mathematics achievement was not. For the total sample, the average level of mathematics anxiety was high based on the normative tables created by the instrument developers of MARS-A. Moreover, all of the variables were significantly related to mathematics anxiety except for general academic success. All of the students who were interviewed reported that they had experienced mathematics anxiety at some point in their mathematics career and, as a result, they had low confidence in continuing in honors level mathematics or the higher level mathematics courses and therefore, will not able to reach Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus or any of the other higher mathematics courses (Discrete Mathematics, AP Statistics) in their senior year.
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