Discipline: Science and Mathematics Education
Juanita A. Morris - Virginia State University
Co-Author(s): Oliver Hill and Christen Priddie, Virginia State University, VA
The purpose of this study is to examine the mediating relationships among self-handicapping, self-efficacy, math-anxiety and their effects on African American student performance in mathematics. Previous research has shown a strong relationship between self-efficacy and math anxiety, with higher self-efficacy associated with lower levels of math anxiety, and between math anxiety and math performance (Hall & Penton 2005, & Hoffman 2010). However, paradoxically, African American students tend to have higher levels of self-efficacy than Caucasian students, but their higher self-efficacy does not translate to higher levels of academic performance (Jaret & Reitzes 2009). This study investigates the role of self-handicapping in in the academic performance and levels of math anxiety in African American students. This study was conducted with African American high school students (N = 185). Participants were given a series of tests to measure their math anxiety, math performance, and self-efficacy and self-handicapping behaviors. Test administered were the Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale, academic self-efficacy scale and the self-handicapping scale came from the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Styles Manual, and the Virginia SOL-Test was used to assess math performance. It was hypothesized that self-efficacy and self-handicapping would have a direct relationship with math performance. It was also hypothesized that math anxiety would mediate the relationship between self-handicapping and math performance. It is hypothesized that math anxiety would mediate the relationship between self-efficacy and math performance. It is further hypothesized that math anxiety would have a direct relationship with self-handicapping and math performance. We found that math anxiety was not related to math performance, that only the self-efficacy and self-handicapping were related to math performance outcome. Path analysis revealed that math anxiety did not play a role in mediating the relationships but did effect only math performance. That result was consistent with the literature. Although math anxiety does not play a key role in African American student performance, other personality and psycho-social factors seem to play a bigger role. Factors like self-efficacy and self-handicapping can influence math performance in African American students.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): I thank Oliver Hill for helping me with this project and Christen Priddie for guiding me throughout this research process. I am gracious for the opportunity to work on the NSF/ HBCU-UP grant.
Faculty Advisor: Oliver Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: The entire paper was done by myself, edited by Oliver Hill and Christen Priddie.