Children’s attitudes to arithmetic
We are investigating relationships between mathematics anxiety, self-rating, liking for mathematics, and mathematics performance.
We developed the Mathematics Anxiety and Attitude Questionnaire, with pictorial rating scale, in collaboration with former student Gemma Thomas. This has been translated into German and used extensively in Germany by Helga Krinzinger, Liane Kaufmann and colleagues.
It is currently being translated into Finnish and into Turkish.
A recently-published study by Devine, Fawcett, Szucs & Dowker (2012) looked at mathematics anxiety in British secondary school pupils. In this study, we controlled for general test anxiety. There was no difference between boys and girls in actual mathematics performance, but girls showed higher levels of mathematics anxiety than boys. Mathematics anxiety was negatively related to mathematics performance. After controlling for general test anxiety, the relationship between mathematics anxiety and mathematics performance ceased to be significant in boys, but continued to be significant for girls.