# Math Anxiety Research

Students of all levels of education experience math anxiety. Math researchers define math anxiety as a ‘feeling of tension and anxiety that interferes with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in ordinary life and academic situations’ (Finlayson, 2014). The purpose of this paper is to examine how math anxiety impacts children? Also what we can do as School Psychologists to prevent and help manage math anxiety in children. This paper will go over the history of math anxiety, relevance, how to prevent/manage and also if there is any effective treatment/interventions that school psychologists could implement to improve a child’s anxiety towards mathematics.

HISTORY OF MATH ANXIETY

There have been

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(Ashcraft, 2009). The MARS is a 98 item rating scale. Respondents rate on a 1 to 5 Likert-type scale. The scale rates how anxious hey would feel in situations ranging from formal math settings to informal. The MARS had become the best test of choice for those investigating math anxiety but over the years the 98 item MARS became very burdensome. According to Ashcraft it was very time consuming to administer, cumbersome to score, and since shorter versions are now available, too long. There are also reconstructions of the MARS available now. For younger respondents they can be given an age appropriate version of the original MARS test. For adolescents there is the MARS-A and for elementary school students there is the MARS-E starting at 4th grade (Ashcraft,

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Also this could mean that students are using more memorization then actually learning and comprehending the material. Children can experience math anxiety in formal settings, in a math classroom or when taking a high-stakes standardized math test, or in more everyday settings. Some researchers have found that math anxiety is most likely to begin around fourth grade and peak in middle and senior high school (Geist, 2010). To understand how math anxiety develops in children, one useful perspective to examine is social cognitive theory. Three reciprocal factors interact with one another to influence a person’s beliefs and actions; these factors are the personal factors, environmental factors, and behavioral factors. Human agency, or the ability of humans to make choices and impose those choices on the world, affects how these three factors interact states that of all mechanisms of human agency, none is more pervasive than people’s beliefs about their abilities to control events. (Jameson, 2014). The strength of this belief has an effect on the person’s behavior and results in the person either attempting to achieve the outcome or losing motivation and not attempting. This leads to the highly self-efficacious person having high future performance, positive affect, and seeking behavior, whereas the low self-efficacious person will have poor