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No excess of mathematics anxiety in adolescents born very preterm

journal contribution
posted on 25.09.2020, 08:08 by Jayne Trickett, Camilla Gilmore, Lucy Cragg, Sarah Clayton, Neil Marlow, Victoria Simms, Rebecca Spong, Samantha Johnson
Objective: To assess whether adolescents born very preterm (VP; <32 weeks’ gestation) have an excess of mathematics anxiety compared with their classmates born at term.
Methods: This cohort study included 127 adolescents born VP (51% male, mean age 13.9 years, SD 0.7) and 95 term-born classmates (56% male, mean age 13.7 years, SD 0.7) who completed the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test 2 nd UK Edition and the Mathematics Anxiety Scale-UK at age 11-15 years. Self-reported trait anxiety was assessed using a composite of three items from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.
Results: Adolescents born VP had significantly poorer mathematics attainment than adolescents born at term (difference in means: -0.64 SD; 95% CI -0.95, -0.34). However, there were no between-group differences in self-reported mathematics anxiety or trait anxiety. There were significant moderate associations between mathematics anxiety and mathematics attainment for adolescents born VP (rho: -.44) and at term (rho:-.52), after controlling for trait anxiety.
Conclusion: Adolescents born VP do not have heightened mathematics anxiety compared with their termborn classmates, despite poorer attainment in mathematics. Improving domain-general cognitive skills and scaffolding learning in the classroom may be more promising avenues for intervention than attempting to reduce mathematics anxiety

Funding

Action Medical Research (Ref: GN2311) project grant

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Volume

42

Issue

3

Pages

220 - 226

Publisher

Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1097/DBP.0000000000000884.

Acceptance date

19/09/2020

Publication date

2020-11-02

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

0196-206X

eISSN

1536-7312

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Camilla Gilmore. Deposit date: 24 September 2020