Classroom-based mindfulness for math anxiety

Yildiz, Nadine (2018) Classroom-based mindfulness for math anxiety. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Previous research has highlighted the negative effects of math anxiety on math learning and performance in children and adults. However, it has been shown that when math anxious individuals are also high in emotional regulation they perform as well in math as their non-math-anxious peers. Further, research has found that the most effective interventions for math anxiety focus on emotional regulation skills. Mindfulness has been used as a treatment for anxiety, particularly by decreasing stress, improving emotional regulation, and self-regulation skills. This study tested whether a classroom-based mindfulness intervention reduced math anxiety among 4th and 5th grade students. Twelve grade 4 and 5 classrooms, from 5 different schools were assigned to either a Mindfulness program (MindUp), an active control (relaxation program), or a Business-as-usual control. Students in each class (N=142) completed measures of procedural and conceptual math ability, math anxiety, general anxiety, and mindfulness before and after program implementation. There was a significant reduction in math anxiety between pre-test and post-test for Grade 5 students as well as improvements in math fluency among students in the Mindfulness condition, and improvements in conceptual ability among students in both the Mindfulness and Relaxation conditions. These findings are consistent with previous research highlighting the benefits of emotional focused programs to increase math performance but is the first of its kind to show benefits of a classroom-based mindfulness intervention on math anxiety and math outcomes for early elementary students.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13539
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 44-52).
Keywords: math anxiety, mindfulness, math performance, elementary
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: October 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Math anxiety; Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Elementary).

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