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A Meta-Analysis of the Relationship Between Anxiety Toward Mathematics and Achievement in Mathematics

Xin Ma 

November 1999, Volume 30, Issue 5, Page 520

In this meta-analysis I examined 26 studies on the relationship between anxiety toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics among elementary and¬† ¬†secondary students. The common population correlation for the relationship is significant (–.27). A series of general linear models indicated that the relationship is consistent across gender groups, grade-level groups, ethnic groups, instruments measuring anxiety, and years of publication. The relationship, however, differs significantly among instruments measuring achievement as well as among types of publication. Researchers using standardized achievement tests tend to report a relationship of significantly smaller magnitude than researchers using mathematics teachers' grades and researcher-made achievement tests. Published studies tend to indicate a significantly smaller magnitude of the relationship than unpublished studies. There are no significant interaction effects among key variables such as gender, grade, and ethnicity.

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