Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses Page: 63
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Studying a group of 78 undergraduate students enrolled in a mathematics class, Bai,
Wang, Pan and Frey (2009) refined the Mathematics Anxiety Scale (MAS) into a 14-item
bidimensional scale. They concluded that using negatively worded items and positively worded
items increased the internal reliability, consistency, and construct validity of the scale, and they
suggested further research into "causal relationships between mathematics anxiety and
performance" (p. 191) noting that mathematics anxiety is a multidimensional psychological
construct that involves complex factors and that understanding mathematics anxiety or
measuring it will assist in the planning and implementing of measures to improve performance.
Mathematics anxiety is experienced by some people because of their learned attitude
from childhood, previous negative experiences, and/or their perception of an intense situation.
According to Ho et al. (2000), "The affective factor of math anxiety was significantly related to
mathematics achievement in a negative direction" (headnote) and their study of three national
samples found that "gender by nation interactions were also found to be significant for both
affective and cognitive math anxiety" (headnote). Tobias and Weissbrod (1980), in studying
differences between gender and mathematics anxiety, noted that there is probably a "link
between poor mathematical skills and the cultural, educational, and occupational barriers
experienced by women, and more important, the discovery that persistence rather than ability
could account for male-female differences in mathematical performance" (as cited in Ho et al.,
2000, p. 63). Mathematics anxiety may be triggered by just the mention of a mathematics
problem, medication administration, or a testing situation. If people cannot perform mathematics
problems successfully, their self-esteem and confidence are affected.
Personal attitudes and motivations are influenced by many underlying ideas, rational or
irrational, and each may evoke emotional and possibly stressful responses. Mathematics anxiety
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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/m1/71/: accessed February 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .