# More Evidence that Math Anxiety is Specific to Math in Young Children: The Correlates of the Math Anxiety Questionnaire for Children (MAQC): The Correlates of the Math Anxiety Questionnaire for Children (MAQC)

### Abstract

Although interest in math anxiety in young children has recently increased, the results of previous studies on math anxiety correlates are inconsistent. The article presents the results of two studies conducted among early school-aged learners (6–11 years) where the Math Anxiety Questionnaire for Children (MAQC) was used. The results indicate that the MAQC score (a) positively and moderately/strongly correlates with other math anxiety scales, (b) positively and moderately correlates with general and test anxiety, (c) and negatively and moderately correlates with mathematical achievements. Significant relationships between math anxiety and math achievement occur even if general and test anxiety are controlled. Moreover, the results of the group comparison test show that children with a high level of math self-esteem have lower math anxiety than children with medium math self-esteem; children with medium and high Polish language self-esteem do not differ from each other in math anxiety. It may be concluded that math anxiety in young children is a specific kind of anxiety, and its correlates are similar to those in secondary school-age children, adolescents, and adults.

### References

Ashcraft, M. (2019). Models of math anxiety. In: I. C. Mammarella, S. Caviola, & A. Dowker (Eds.), Mathematics anxiety. What is known an what is still to be understood (pp. 1–19). London and New York: Routledge.

Beilock, S. L., Gunderson, E. A., Ramirez, G., & Levine, S. C. (2010). Female teachers’ math anxiety affects girls’ math achievement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(5), 1860–1863. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0910967107

Birgin, O., Baloğlu, M., Çatlıoğlu, H., & Gürbüz, R. (2010). An investigation of mathematics anxiety among sixth through eighth grade students in Turkey. Learning and Individual Differences, 20(6), 654–658. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2010.04.006

Browne, J. L., Ortiz-Padilla, M., & Soto-Varela, R. (2020). Does Mathematical Anxiety Differ Cross-Culturally? Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research, 9(1), 126–136. doi: 10.7821/naer.2020.1.464

Carey, E., Hill, F., Devine, A., & Szűcs, D. (2017). The modified Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale: A valid and reliable instrument for use with children. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(11).

Cargnelutti, E., Tomasetto, C., & Passolunghi, M. C. (2017). How is anxiety related to math performance in young students? A longitudinal study of grade 2 to grade 3 children. Cognition and Emotion, 31(4), 755–764. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2016.1147421

Choe, K., Jenifer, J. B., Rozek, C. S., Berman, M., & Beilock, S. L. (2019). Calculated avoidance: Math anxiety predicts math avoidance in effort-based decision-making. Science Advances, 20, 5(11), eaay1062. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aay1062.

Devine, A., Fawcett, K., Szűcs, D., & Dowker, A. (2012). Gender differences in mathematics anxiety and the relation to mathematics performance while controlling for test anxiety. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 8(33), 2–9.

Dowker, A., Sarkar, A., & Looi, C. Y. (2016). Mathematics anxiety: What have we learned in 60 years? Frontiers in Psychology, 7(508). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00508

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

Ganley, C. M., & McGraw, A. L. (2016). The development and validation of a Revised Version of the Math Anxiety Scale for Young Children. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(1181). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01181

Gierl, M. J., & Bisanz, J. (1995). Anxieties and attitudes related to mathematics in grades 3 and 6. The Journal of Experimental Education, 63(2), 139–158. doi: 10.1080/00220973.1995.9943818

Goetz, T., Bieg, M., Ludtke, O., Pekrun, R., & Hall, N. C. (2013). Do girls really experience more anxiety in mathematics? Psychological Science, 24(10), 2079–2087. doi: 10.1177/0956797613486989.

Griggs, M. S., Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Merritt, E. G., & Patton, C. L. (2013). The responsive classroom approach and fifth grade students’ math and science anxiety and self-efficacy. School Psychology Quarterly, 28(4), 360–373. doi: 10.l037/spq0000026

Harari, R. R., Vukovic, R. K., & Bailey, S. P. (2013). Mathematics anxiety in young children: An exploratory study. The Journal of Experimental Education, 81(4), 538–555. doi: 10.1080/00220973.2012.727888

Hembree, R. (1990). The nature, effects, and relief of mathematics anxiety. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 21(1), 33–46. doi: 10.2307/749455

Hill, F., Mammarella, I. C., Devine, A., Caviola, S., Passolunghi, M. C., & Szűcs, D. (2016). Math anxiety in primary and secondary school students: Gender differences, developmental changes and anxiety specificity. Learning and Individual Differences, 48, 45–53. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2016.02.006

Jameson, M. M. (2013). The development and validity of the Children’s Anxiety in Math Scale. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 31, 391–395. doi: 10.1177/0734282912470131

Jameson, M. M. (2014). Contextual factors related to math anxiety in second-grade children. The Journal of Experimental Education, 82(4), 518–536. doi: 10.1080/00220973.2013.813367

Janowicz, J. (2017). Jak statystyka może pomóc w odczytaniu wyników sprawdzianu. Twoja Nowa Era. Magazyn dla nauczycieli matematyki w szkole podstawowej, 17–21. Downloaded from: http://flipbook.nowaera.pl/dokumenty/Flipbook/Magazyn-Sprawdzian-szostoklasisty-mat/Magazyn-Twoja-nowa-era.pdf [06.01.2020]

Krinzinger, H., Kaufmann, L., & Willmes, K. (2009). Math anxiety and math ability in early primary school years. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 27(3), 206–225. doi: 10.1177%2F0734282908330583

Kucian, K., Zuber, I., Kohn, J., Poltz, N., Wyschkon, A., Günter, E., & Von Aster, M. (2018). Relation between mathematical performance, math anxiety, and affective priming in children with and without developmental dyscalculia. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 263. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00263

Lenhard, W., & Lenhard, A. (2016). Calculation of effect sizes. Downloaded from: https://www.psychometrica.de/effect_size.html. Dettelbach (Germany): Psychometrica. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.17823.92329

Ma, X. (1999). A meta-analysis of the relationship between anxiety toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 30(5), 520–540.

Maloney, E. A., Ramirez, G., Gunderson, E. A., Levine, S. C., & Beilock, S. L. (2015). Integrational effects of parents’ math anxiety on children’s math achievement and anxiety. Psychological Science, 26(9),1480–1488. doi: 10.1177/0956797615592630

Núñez-Peña, M. I., Suárez-Pellicioni, M., & Bono, R. (2016). Gender differences in test anxiety and their impact on higher education students’ academic achievement. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 228, 154–160. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.07.023

Putwain, D. W., & Daniels, R. A. (2010). Is the relationship between competence beliefs and test anxiety influenced by goal orientation? Learning and Individual Differences, 20(1), 8–13. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2009.10.006

Stöber, J., & Pekrun, R. (2004). Advances in test anxiety research. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 17(3), 205–211. doi: 10.1080/1061580412331303225

Ramirez, G., Chang, H., Maloney, E. A., Levine, S. C., & Beilock, S. L. (2016). On the relationship between math anxiety and math achievement in early elementary school: The role of problem solving strategies. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 141, 83–100. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2015.07.014

Ramirez, G., Gunderson, E. A., Levine, S. C., & Beilock, S. L. (2013). Math anxiety, working memory, and math achievement in early elementary school. Journal of Cognition and Development, 14(2), 187–202. doi: 10.1080/15248372.2012.664593

Reynolds, C. R., & Richmond, B. O. (1978). What I think and feel: A revised measure of children’s manifest anxiety. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 6(27), 271–280. doi: 10.1007/BF00919131

Richardson, F. C., & Suinn, R. M. (1972). The Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale: Psychometric data. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 19(6), 551–554.

Soni, A., & Kumari, S. (2017). The role of parental math anxiety and math attitude in their children’s math achievement. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 15(2), 331–347. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007%2Fs10763-015-9687-5

Spence, S. H. (1997). Structure of anxiety symptoms among children: a confirmatory factor-analytic study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106(2), 280–297.

Stark, K. D., & Laurent, J. (2001). Joint factor analysis of the Children’s Depression Inventory and the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 30(4), 552–567. doi: 10.1207/S15374424JCCP3004_11

Szczygieł, M. (2019). How to measure math anxiety in young children? Psychometric properties of the modified Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale for Elementary Children (mAMAS-E). Polish Psychological Bulletin, 50(4), 303-315. doi: 10.24425/ppb.2019.131003

Thomas, G., & Dowker, A. (2000). Mathematics anxiety and related factors in young children. Paper presented at British Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference, Bristol.

Van Mier, H. I., Scchleepen, T. M. J., & Van den Berg, F. C. G. (2019). Gender differences regarding the impact of math anxiety on arithmetic performance in second and fourth graders. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2690. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02690

Vukovic, R. K., Kieffer, M. J., Bailey, S. P., & Harari, R. R. (2013). Mathematics anxiety in young children: Concurrent and longitudinal associations with mathematical performance. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 38, 1–10. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2012.09.001

Wang, Z., Hart, S. A., Kovas, Y., Lukowski, S., Soden, B., Thompson, L. A., … & Petrill, S. A. (2014). Who is afraid of math? Two sources of genetic variance for mathematical anxiety. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55(9), 1056–1064. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12224

Wren, D. G., & Benson, J. (2014). Measuring test anxiety in children: Scale development and internal construct validation. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 17(3), 227–240. doi: 10.1080/10615800412331292606

Wu, S. S., Barth, M., Amin, H., Melcarne, V., & Menon, V. (2012). Math anxiety in second and third graders and its relation to mathematics achievement. Frontiers in Psychology, 3(162), 1–11. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00162

Young, C. B., Wu, S. S., & Menon, V. (2012). The neurodevelopmental basis of math anxiety. Psychological Science, 23(5), 492–501. doi: 10.1177/0956797611429134

Zhang, J., Zhao, N., & Kong, Q. P. (2019). The relationship between math anxiety and math performance: A meta-analytic investigation. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1613. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01613

### Keywords

math anxiety, math achievement, general anxiety, test anxiety, early school age children