Date Approved

5-2-2000

Embargo Period

6-23-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in School Psychology

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Dihoff, Roberta

Second Advisor

Klanderman, John

Subject(s)

Math anxiety; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Elementary); Sex differences (Psychology) in children

Disciplines

Educational Psychology

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate gender differences in mathematics anxiety as it is related to mathematics achievement. It was expected that there would not be a gender difference in mathematics achievement, but that there would be a gender difference in math anxiety. Specifically, it was expected that females would have a higher math anxiety than males, and that this difference would magnify in the higher grades. The participants were 250 students in grades 4-8 from a Catholic elementary school in a middle-class suburb in Southern New Jersey. Prior to their mathematics midterm examination, the participants completed the Mathematics Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC), a 22-question Likert-response survey. The anxiety scale was coded to match each participant's mathematics midterm score, which was provided by the student's teacher. The results were analyzed using a two-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The results of the study were unexpected. First, there was no gender difference in math anxiety. Second, there was a gender difference in math achievement, that, as a group, the females performed significantly better than the males.

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