Mathematics Anxiety and Its Development in the Course of Formal Schooling—A Review


The purpose of the this article is to provide an overview of the current state of research concerning the development, determining factors and effects of mathematics anxiety, particularly with regard to young elementary school age level populations. Assessment instruments, potential risk-factors, consequences of mathematics anxiety, as well as approaches to intervention are summarized. Owing to the small number of studies focusing on mathematics anxiety in young children, findings from adult studies are briefly recapitulated. The available data emphasizes the need for systematic research that focuses on the one hand on the onset of mathematics anxiety at a young age, and on the other follows the development of longer periods of time. Furthermore, multi-method research designs may be the means to gain deeper insight into the dynamics of causes and effects when the interaction of mathematics anxiety and mathematical abilities are under scrutiny. Only by implementing longitudinal studies that involve different types of data and the formulation of complex models of the dynamics of mathematics anxiety over time, can its determining factors and its effects be generated.

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Eden, C. , Heine, A. & Jacobs, A. (2013). Mathematics Anxiety and Its Development in the Course of Formal Schooling—A Review. Psychology, 4, 27-35. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.46A2005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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