First Advisor

Laurie A. Skokan

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Math anxiety, Math anxiety -- Sex differences, Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Psychological aspects, Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Sex differences



Physical Description

1 online resource ( 2, iv, 71 p.)


Non-math majors enrolled in lower-division math courses at an urban university were surveyed on their math attitudes, coping behaviors, and math anxiety (MATHANX). The Revised Ways of Coping Checklist (RWCC), Revised Math Anxiety Rating Scale, and other questions were presented to 30 men and 32 women. Hierarchical regressions showed that after controlling for attitudinal covariates, emotion-focused coping behaviors (EMOTFOC) were strongly associated with MATHANX (F(5,54)=18.66, 12 < .0001), but problem-focused coping behaviors (PROBFOC) were not. The RWCC subscale most highly correlated with MATHANX was Wishful Thinking (r = .70, p < .0001). Ss were then dichotomized on PROBFOC and EMOTFOC, providing four behavioral groups. An ANCOVA controlling for attitudinal covariates showed behavioral group membership significant with respect to MATHANX (F(3,58)=6.07, p < .001), and an ANOVA revealed that students who reported high EMOTFOC coupled with low PROBFOC experienced the greatest MATHANX (,E(3,58) = 12.66, p < .0001).

Males and females reported virtually identical MATHANX (M=36.30 for males, 36.44 for females), and the only significant gender difference was for avoidance coping, which was used more by males (F(1,60) = 5.43, p < .03]. Results from this study suggest that fewer gender differences may exist in MATHANX and coping than have been found in the past. Additionally, this study identifies the need for future research to determine whether EMOTFOC is the behavioral component, or one of the determinants, of math anxiety.


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