A review of underlying factors in math anxieties




MacKinnon, Christina

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Abstract Math anxiety (MA) has been defined as a fear of math or an emotional negative feeling towards mathematical tasks and has been argued to have a significant impact on students’ mathematics learning, performance, and achievement. There are numerous studies centering on MA and the underlying factors that are theorized to contribute to it. Many studies focus on the external influences that contribute to the development of MA in students, such as parental stereotyping and math beliefs. However in addition to these findings, research also suggests that MA is rooted in genetic factors. The literature in this review will explore two dimensions: the external and internal factors that are theorized to be associated with MA. The purpose of this review is to shed light on some of the many dimensions that contribute to MA in order to develop a better understanding of the underlying factors affecting our students ridden with math anxieties.



mathematical anxiety, cognitive abilities, mathematical development, cognitive reflection, genetic influences, working memory, math-anxious parents, teachers’ math knowledge, gender stereotyping, mathematical beliefs, mathematical attitudes