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Maths anxiety has been the focus of much psychological and educational research in the past few years. In this article, we review some of this research evidence and describe some of the work we have completed. In particular, we will describe what maths anxiety is and how it has been measured, describe some of the consequences of maths anxiety, and finally describe what can be done to alleviate difficulties associated with math anxiety.

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... "Feelings of tension, apprehension and fright that disturbed the usual manipulation of number and the solving of mathematical problems", Ashcraft and Faust, (2000). In many forms of anxiety, students have the feeling that their hearts beat fast, they may believe that they cannot complete mathematical problems or may avoid taking math courses, Sheffield and Hunt, (2006). Anxiety of the students in response to mathematics is important concern for teachers and many stakeholders in perception that high anxiety may connected to fear in the subject, Anderson (2007). ...

In a setting of reciprocal learning, the study found a correlation between students' academic progress and their mathematical anxiety. It aimed to compare the achievement levels of students exposed to reciprocal learning environments (RLE) with those exposed to non-reciprocal learning environments (non-RLE) in terms of their pretest, posttest, and retention test scores; to describe the level of anxiety in mathematics when exposed to RLE and those exposed to non-RLE; and to pinpoint the differences in the achievement levels of students exposed to RLE and to those exposed to non-RLE in terms of their pretest, posttest, and retention test. Students in SS1 served as the research respondents for the study, which used a quasi-experimental research methodology and was conducted at a government day pilot secondary school kofar sauri and Government College Katsins all in Katsina metropolis. While students exposed to Non-RLE also had "very low performance" in the pretest and "moderate performance" in the posttest and retention test, those exposed to RLE had "very low performance" in the pretest and "moderate performance" in both of those assessments. Additionally, both RLE and Non-RLE groups' arithmetic anxiety levels were high prior to treatment but decreased after it. The math proficiency of the kids exposed to RLE is on par with that of the pupils exposed to non-RLE. Additionally, there was no discernible difference between the two groups' pupils' levels of mathematical fear.

... According to Tobias (1993), many individuals are hindered from occupational and individual job opportunities due to their anxiety or poor performance in arithmetic. According to Sheffield and Hunt (2007), arithmetic anxiety is an important component that must be considered during the progression to employment. Arithmetic anxiety is described as stressor associated reaction by some people when they encounter an arithmetic task. ...

This article delves into the impact of dyscalculia on the transition to higher education and employment opportunities, examining both the global context and the specific case of Kenya. It highlights the crucial role of mathematics in everyday life and underscores the significant prevalence of dyscalculia, affecting a considerable portion of the population worldwide, with estimates ranging from 3% to 6%. In the Kenyan context, studies have indicated a prevalence rate of 6.4% among primary and secondary school students. The article sheds light on the challenges many students encounter in pursuing their desired career paths due to the prerequisite of mathematics as a determining factor for qualification in certain fields. Recognising the importance of early detection, the article emphasises the criticality of diagnosing dyscalculia at an early stage, starting as early as preschool, in order to implement timely interventions that can mitigate its impact. Furthermore, the article stresses the necessity of providing adequate training to teachers, enabling them to effectively support learners with specific learning difficulties such as dyscalculia. It highlights the importance of differentiated teaching methods that cater to the unique needs of dyscalculic learners. By employing multisensory approaches and leveraging assistive technology, educators can employ strategies that assist learners in overcoming the challenges associated with dyscalculia. In conclusion, this article underscores the significance of dyscalculia on the journey toward higher education and employment, both globally and specifically in Kenya. By raising awareness about the prevalence of dyscalculia and advocating for early diagnosis and intervention, as well as providing teachers with the necessary training and resources, we can enhance the opportunities for learners with dyscalculia to succeed in their academic pursuits and future careers.

... Specific to highstakes test situations, scholars argue that mathematics anxiety seems to be an aspect of "situational specific psychological distress" rather than an aspect of "mathematics" (Hembree, 1988). Neuropsychological data (Sheffield and Hunt, 2006) suggest that students' hearts may beat more quickly or firmly in highstakes academic testing environments. Therefore, the relationship between mathematics anxiety and academic performance in a highstakes testing environment needs careful consideration. ...

Research has shown that mindfulness can reduce students' negative emotions associated with high-stakes tests and thereby improve test performance. This study explored the association between mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) and high-risk math test scores of middle school students, which is noticeably slim in the domain of mathematics education, through a mediating process involving math-specific test anxiety and math self-efficacy. Using data from a sample of 45 students, age 12-13, we found empirical support for a significant positive correlation between mindfulness and middle school students' math achievement. Participants listened to a mindfulness audio every other week before a mathematics test. Weekly mathematics test scores, student group discussion data, and in-depth interview data were analyzed to explore how mindfulness affected students' mathematics test performance, which showed a statistically significant improvement after mindfulness compared to mathematics achievement without the intervention. Our results indicate that mindfulness can relieve mathematics anxiety symptoms, including physiological manifestations, test-unrelated thinking and worries, and problem-solving obstacles caused by mathematics anxiety. Also, mindfulness, especially its non-judgmental attitude, positively affects students' mathematical self-efficacy. The current research provides evidence of the mindfulness intervention's efficacy for improving middle school mathematics test performance but also identifies the complexities of implementing it with large numbers of students.

... Also a negative correlation between mathematics anxiety and mathematics achievement was reported by (Ashcraft, 2002;Ashcraft & Kirk, 2001;Bandalos, Yates, & Thorndike-Christ, 1995;Cates & Rhymer, 2003;Miller & Bichsel, 2004, cited in Pourmoslemi, Erfrani & Firoozfar, 2013. Sheffield and Hunt (2006) supported the notion that mathematics anxiety has a direct impact on mathematics tasks (Helal, Hamza & Hagstrom, 2011). Daneshamooz, Alamolhodaei and Darvishan (2012) found a significant negative correlation between mathematics anxiety and mathematical performance while Zakaria and Nordin (2008) and Ojogbeje et al. (2013) found out that a significantly low negative correlation coefficient existed between mathematics anxiety and mathematics achievement. ...

This study investigated the effects of using creative writing activities in Mathematics on students' Mathematics anxiety. Using a quasi-experimental design, the data were collected from 60 respondents from three intact classes of college freshman students from a university in Iloilo City, Philippines. Results of the study showed that significant differences were noted in the mathematics test anxiety of students who were exposed to Treatment 1 (traditional method of instruction with creative individual writing activities), Treatment 2 (traditional method of instruction with creative group writing activities), and Conventional set up (traditional method of instruction without creative writing activities). The post hoc test revealed that students exposed to Treatment 2 had significantly lower mathematics test anxiety than the Conventional group. The paired-samples t-tests showed that there was no significant decrease in the mathematics anxiety of students after exposure to Treatment 1 and the Conventional set up. However, there was a significant decrease in the mathematics anxiety of students after exposure to Treatment 2.

... Mathematics anxiety is defined as a phenomenon that occurs as a feeling of tension or a state of stress during an individual's learning life and daily life; when solving mathematical problems, or he/she has to perform operations in situations involving numbers (Tobias, 1978). Sheffield and Hunt (2006), on the other hand, defined mathematics anxiety as a state of hesitation and anxiety that occurs when a person encounters problems involving mathematics. If the anxiety exceeds the required level, it will cause fear of mathematics in the person and negatively affect his learning and further thinking processes (Wilson, 2012). ...

The research aims to determine the difference between secondary school students’ mathematics anxiety with mathematics literacy self-efficacy level and study these connections. The relational screening model in the research population comprises 32 secondary schools in the 2020-2021 academic years in Esenyurt province, Istanbul. Research samplings comprise 1682 students that are chosen with the stratified sampling method from nine different secondary schools in Esenyurt province. Data was gathered by the ‘’Secondary School Mathematics Literacy Self-Efficiency Scale’’ and ‘‘Mathematics Anxiety-Apprehension Survey’’. For data analysis, descriptive statistics, Sperman Correlation Analysis and statistical techniques are used. As a result of the analysis, secondary school students’ mathematics anxiety is higher than average, and their mathematics literacy self-efficacy is also significantly higher. After the examination of the relationship between the scales, it was determined that there is a positive relationship between mathematics anxiety and mathematics literacy self-efficacy.

... In this cycle, unpleasant emotions affect the reduced motivation of students and the lack of independent learning of mathematics. These emotions and beliefs about math are associated with a lack of self-confidence and a sense of incompetence which is why many, objectively capable students, avoid difficult tasks, put in little effort and give up easily when faced with difficulties (Hembree, 1990;Sheffield and Hunt, 2006). Figure 1. ) Bezinović (1988 within his work in the field of validation of the construct of perception of personal competence developed three scales that represent three aspects of the perception of personal competence. ...

Teachers are increasingly required to have mathematical subject knowledge described as lists of facts, skills and competencies. Different emotional reactions are present in the classroom every day. Emotional reactions are most often divided into positive and negative, and negative emotional reactions are most often related to the evaluation process. Teaching mathematics at all stages and levels of education is often a challenge for students. It is known that mathematics is not very popular and one often hears this misconception: "common sense and mathematics do not go together". Unfortunately, statements such as "not for me", "I don't know math" and "my mom is not a mathematician" can often be heard from students. The popularity of mathematics is on the scale of less popular subjects in schools, although teachers are forcing the teaching of mathematics, and even the curriculum offers more math classes than some other subjects.

... The tendency to avoid careers related to mathematics is increasing due to mathematics anxiety among students (Naseem, 2021). Students select and opt for minimum mathematics courses due to low confidence in their ability because of mathematics anxiety (Furner, 2019;Kargar et al., 2010;Sheffield & Hunt, 2006). ...

The study was executed to develop and validate a Likert-type anxiety scale that measures students' anxiety in mathematics at the middle level. This mathematics anxiety scale is named as Afshan Mathematics Anxiety Scale (AfMAS). 24 items scale was piloted on 280 female grade VII students of public sector schools. The factors of the Afshan Mathematics Anxiety Scale were identified by exploratory factor analysis. Four factors were identified after factor loading analysis. These four factors were mathematics lesson anxiety (4 items); mathematics performance anxiety (7 items), mathematics assessment strategies anxiety (5 items); mathematics test anxiety (8 items). The overall Cronbach's alpha value was 0.89, with alpha values ranging from 0.81 to 0.89 for each subscale. Composite reliability for all subscales was assessed. Content, convergent, and discriminant validity were also assessed. The Afshan Mathematics Anxiety Scale was found to be both valid and reliable. With the help of AfMAS mathematics anxiety in middle-level students can be assessed.

... The tendency to avoid careers related to mathematics is increasing due to mathematics anxiety among students (Naseem, 2021). Students select and opt for minimum mathematics courses due to low confidence in their ability because of mathematics anxiety (Furner, 2019;Kargar et al., 2010;Sheffield & Hunt, 2006). ...

Abstract
The study was executed to develop and validate a Likert-type anxiety scale that measures students’ anxiety in mathematics at the middle level. This mathematics anxiety scale is named as Afshan Mathematics Anxiety Scale (AfMAS). 24 items scale was piloted on 280 female grade VII students of public sector schools. The factors of the Afshan Mathematics Anxiety Scale were identified by exploratory factor analysis. Four factors were identified after factor loading analysis. These four factors were mathematics lesson anxiety (4 items); mathematics performance anxiety (7 items), mathematics assessment strategies anxiety (5 items); mathematics test anxiety (8 items). The overall Cronbach's alpha value was 0.89, with alpha values ranging from 0.81 to 0.89 for each subscale. Composite reliability for all subscales was assessed. Content, convergent, and discriminant validity were also assessed. The Afshan Mathematics Anxiety Scale was found to be both valid and reliable. With the help of AfMAS mathematics anxiety in middle-level students can be assessed.
Keywords: middle level, mathematics anxiety, scale development, validation of a scale.

While Mathematics is a necessary component of Science, many students enter scientific courses with minimal arithmetic skills. This descriptive-correlational study examined the relationship between Grade 9 students' Mathematics anxiety and resiliency to their academic achievement in Chemistry. Data was collected from the 302 participants drawn from the total population of 1,394. A three-part, fully adopted questionnaire was used. Descriptive scores were analyzed and interpreted using mean and standard deviation. To test for significant differences in the aspects of the dependent variables, Mann-Whitney U was used, and Spearman's rho correlation was used to test for significant relationships. Results of the study revealed that the level of Mathematics anxiety of the Grade 9 students was on the "average". On the other hand, the level of Mathematics resiliency of the Grade 9 students was “high”. The study also reflected that Grade 9 students were proficient in Chemistry. Mathematics anxiety and resiliency do not correlate with Grade 9 students’ academic achievement in Chemistry. Anxiety and resiliency of Grade 9 students towards Mathematics do not affect their ability to acquire knowledge in Chemistry. Student experience of Mathematics anxiety is not closely related to their academic achievements. It is recommended that schools provide opportunities for students to cultivate more positive attitudes toward Mathematics.

Two exploratory studies were conducted to determine if mathematics anxiety, as assessed by the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS), is related to the underlying mental processes of arithmetic performance. MARS scores were higher when the test was administered by computer, vs. the standard paper-and-pencil format, and were higher for female than male college students. Small but significant processing differences in simple addition and multiplication were found when subjects were divided by quartiles into anxiety groups. Much larger differences in processing speed and accuracy were found with complex addition problems and a set of difficult problems (e.g. 9 × 16 = 134, true or false) that tested all four arithmetic operations. Overall, the low anxiety group was consistently the most rapid and accurate, the medium high was consistently the slowest, and the high anxiety group the most prone to errors. The results suggest that genuine performance differences exist among the several levels of mathematics anxiety, and that chronometric, reaction time-based studies of such performance will be useful in revealing those differences.

The Mathematics Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC), a measure based on a shortened version of the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale, was developed and administered to 562 children in Grades 4–8. Varimax rotation identified 4 factors that accounted for 56% of the variance in scores. These factors involved math evaluation, learning, problem solving, and teacher anxiety. The MASC showed good internal consistency. Evidence for its construct validity included significant relationships with math grades, test anxiety, achievement motivation, and academic ability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Reports normative, reliability, and validity data for the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS), a measure of mathematics anxiety for use in treatment and research. Normative data were collected on a sample of 397 undergraduates. The instrument has high test-retest and internal consistency reliability. Evidence for validity comes from 3 studies in which MARS scores showed expected decreases following behavior therapy for mathematics anxiety, and a separate validity study in which MARS scores were found to correlate negatively with scores on a mathematics test. Possible uses of the instrument in treatment and research are discussed. (17 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Assigned 15 male and 6 female test anxious 17-25 yr. olds (1 high school student and 20 undergraduates) to a group cognitive modification treatment, group desensitization, or a waiting list control group. The cognitive modification group combined an insight-oriented therapy which was designed to make test anxious Ss aware of their anxiety-engendering thoughts with a modified desensitization procedure which employed (a) coping imagery on how to handle anxiety and (b) self-instructional training to attend to the task and not ruminate about oneself. Results indicate that the cognitive modification group was most effective in significantly reducing test anxiety as assessed by (a) test performance obtained in an analog test situation, (b) self-reports given immediately after posttreatment and later at a 1-mo follow-up, and (c) GPA. Following treatment, the test anxious Ss in the cognitive modification group did not differ from a group of 10 low test anxious Ss, and in fact the cognitive modification Ss reported a significant increase in facilitative anxiety. (63 ref.)

Results of 151 studies were integrated by meta-analysis to scrutinize the construct mathematics anxiety. Mathematics anxiety is related to poor performance on mathematics achievement tests. It relates inversely to positive attitudes toward mathematics and is bound directly to avoidance of the subject. Variables that exhibit differential mathematics anxiety levels include ability, school grade level, and undergraduate fields of study, with preservice arithmetic teachers especially prone to mathematics anxiety. Females display higher levels than males. However, mathematics anxiety appears more strongly linked with poor performance and avoidance of mathematics in precollege males than females. A variety of treatments are effective in reducing mathematics anxiety. Improved mathematics performance consistently accompanies valid treatment.

Anxiety often impairs performance of “difficult” tasks (especially under test conditions), but there are numerous exceptions. Theories of anxiety and performance need to address at least two major issues: (1) the complexity and apparent inconsistency of the findings; and (2) the conceptual definition of task difficulty. Some theorists (e.g. Humphreys & Revelle, 1984; Sarason, 1988) argue that anxiety causes worry, and worry always impairs performance on tasks with high attentional or short-term memory demands. According to the processing efficiency theory, worry has two main effects: (1) a reduction in the storage and processing capacity of the working memory system available for a concurrent task; and (2) an increment in on-task effort and activities designed to improve performance. There is a crucial distinction within the theory between performance effectiveness (= quality of performance) and processing efficiency (= performance effectiveness divided by effort). Anxiety characteristically impairs efficiency more than effectiveness.

Describes a teaching method that employs a variety of techniques--including psychology--to reduce math anxiety in basic skills math classes. States that when these types of efforts were made to reduce math anxiety, students received more satisfactory grades and fewer repeats and unsatisfactories. (NB)

Investigated whether specific background and academic variables could serve to predict math anxiety as defined by an abbreviated form of the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS). Results of a 69-item abbreviated version of the MARS administered to 517 college students resulted in an internally consistent and reliable 25-item scale. Examination of relationships between raw scores on the 25-item revised MARS and individual scales of the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scales (E. Fennema and J. Sherman; 1976) suggests that levels of math anxiety were related to Ss' perception of (1) mother, father, or teacher's perception of their abilities as learners of math and (2) the usefulness of math in pursuing career objectives. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Thirteen subjects were extensively trained on nine multiplication problems varying in difficulty. Practice was associated with a reaction time speed up and an attenuation of the problem size effect. The introduction of previously unpracticed problems led to a performance rebound to pretraining levels, indicating practice specificity. The eventrelated potentials were characterized by a late positive complex, followed by a positive slow wave. Offset latency of positive slow wave and preresponse amplitude at parietal electrodes showed practice specificity effects that systematically changed with practice and problem size, indicating an association with the load imposed on working memory. The peak of the late positive complex probably reflects task learning or adaptation effects because it was attenuated by practice predominantly at frontal electrodes, showed no practice specificity, and was not affected by problem size.

One addend '+' symbol and another addend were presented in sequence to subjects in a monitor, and event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded at the same time to examine the effect of problem difficulty (with or without carrying in solution) on ERPs. After the presentation of the second addend, N1, P1, N2, late positive complex and slow waves were recorded. The P2 amplitude at F3 site for the difficult arithmetic problems between 168 and 184 ms is larger (more positive) than that for easy problems (P < 0.05). The mean latency of P2 at F7 and P3b at F3 and F4 is significantly longer for difficult problems than that for easy ones (P < 0.05). It is suggested that prefrontal activity may be involved in the arithmetic data retrieval process. ERPs is modified to different degrees by changing the difficulty of mental arithmetic.