The responsiveness of mathematics achievement in grade 8 to anxiety, confidence, sex, and prior mathematics achievement

Whitt, Sharon G. (1989) The responsiveness of mathematics achievement in grade 8 to anxiety, confidence, sex, and prior mathematics achievement. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This is a study of mathematics achievement in Grade 8, and an examination of some of the factors that may influence it. The factors considered were anxiety, confidence, sex, and prior mathematics achievement. -- Grade 8 students from six schools located in urban and rural areas participated in the study. -- Students were required to answer an Anxiety-Confidence Questionnaire which was adapted from the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scale. They also completed the Concepts, Problem-Solving, and Computation subtests of the Canadian Tests of Basic Skills as measures of current mathematics achievement. Permanent school records were used to determine the same students' scores on corresponding subtests given two years previously. -- Sex, mathematics anxiety, and prior mathematics achievement were found to each contribute significantly to current mathematics achievement over and above the other variables, with prior mathematics achievement having the most impact. Current mathematics achievement was found to be negatively affected by anxiety and positively by confidence. Both prior achievement and sex were found to contribute significantly to the variances in anxiety and confidence. -- It was found that anxiety and confidence both contributed significantly to the variance in current achievement in the area of concepts. The influence of sex on achievement was significant over and above the others only in the area of computation. -- Path analysis showed that the direct effect of sex on achievement which favoured females was offset by the indirect effects of sex on achievement via anxiety and confidence, both of which worked in favour of males. -- In general, females tended to exhibit higher anxiety and males higher confidence even when their performance was the same. However, the separate sex analysis showed that anxiety correlated more highly with current achievement for males whereas confidence correlated more highly with current achievement for females.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4407
Item ID: 4407
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 115-122.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1989
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mathematics--Study and teaching (Secondary)--Newfoundland and Labrador; Academic achievement

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