Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses Page: 59
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developmental courses and cognitive factors such as self-efficacy. Because confidence in math
skills, self-efficacy, math anxiety, goals, performance, and actual mathematics attainment may be
related, Hall and Ponton (2005) investigated factors that may help in planning effective teaching
strategies to help the remedial students do well in the class and improve performance. There was
no relationship between gender and self-efficacy; however, there was a relationship between
math self-efficacy and the class in which the student was enrolled. They suggested that teachers
of developmental mathematics may hold the key to developing self-confidence and promoting
college success, and those students need to have small successes to design mastery experiences
for them to develop a positive self-efficacy.
Studying mathematics and working on mathematics problems may be a positive or a
negative experience. Bandura stated, "'A person's belief or confidence in their ability to be
successful for any given behavior or task has a direct influence on their performance, persistence,
and behavioral choices"' (as cited in Maag, 2006, p. 112). If the experience was positive and the
outcome was encouraging, future attitudes are more positive. For instance, if students are
assisted in learning mathematics concepts at an early age and understand the concepts, they may
use the experience to be confident of a solution at a later encounter. Or if students feel inferior or
if the assistance is punitive or threatening, future encounters could be frightening and students
may not be as confident and/or self-assured as when they had a positive experience.
Middleton and Spanias (1999) reviewed the current research and concluded that "there is
a relationship between mathematics as a socially constructed field and a student's desire to
achieve" (p. 1). People tend to have a desire to succeed or a desire to avoid failure. The two
opposing tendencies motivate humans to behave in certain ways, and this behavior is many times
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Melius, Joyce. Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses, dissertation, May 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115119/m1/67/: accessed February 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .