Svraka Tamásné - Eötvös Loránd University - Faculty of Primary and Pre-School Education
Dr. Szilvia Ádám - Semmelweis University - Institute of Behavioural Sciences
Background and Aims: The prevalence of mathematical anxiety is high among primary school students. Mathematical anxiety has widely been associated with performance, namely that the higher the level of anxiety is, the weaker the mathematical performance becomes. This may result in different symptoms and consequences in different cases. The purpose of our research was to explore the prevalence of mathematical anxiety and to evaluate the relationship between anxiety and performance among Hungarian students.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey with self-administered questionnaires among 200 secondary school students of the sixth grade. Anxiety was measured by the Mathematical Anxiety Measuring Test, whose main domains are emotional physiological symptoms and cognitive symptoms such as attitudes, attributes, and beliefs. Associations were assessed by descriptive correlation analysis.
Results: The prevalence of mathematical anxiety among Hungarian students was 17.95%. We identified a clear significant negative association between performance and all variables of anxiety. Performance had the strongest association with attitudes, and the weakest with attributes, both a variable of cognitive symptoms. Girls were more anxious when solving a math problem. We identified a significant, a fairly strong, negative relationship between performance and every domain of anxiety. There was a clear, significant, intermediate-strength, negative relationship between performance and all the domains and variables of anxiety among children diagnosed with difficulty of learning mathematics. In this group of subjects, the correlation coefficient was significantly higher than that among the full sample.
Conclusions: Anxiety and mathematical performance are close correlates, which was more pronounced among girls. Poorer performance may lead to higher anxiety. However, further studies are needed to confirm our results and to explore the consequences of mathematical anxiety.
Doctoral School: Mental Health Sciences
Program: Mental Health Sciences - Prevalence of mathematical anxiety
Supervisor: Szilvia Ádám
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