The Modified Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale: A Valid and Reliable Instrument for Use with Children
Frontiers in Psychology
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Carey, E., Hill, F., Devine, A., & Szűcs, D. (2017). The Modified Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale: A Valid and Reliable Instrument for Use with Children. Frontiers in Psychology, 8 (11)https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00011
Mathematics anxiety (MA) can be observed in children from primary school age into the teenage years and adulthood, but many MA rating scales are only suitable for use with adults or older adolescents. We have adapted one such rating scale, the Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale (AMAS), to be used with British children aged 8-13. In this study, we assess the scale's reliability, factor structure, and divergent validity. The modified AMAS (mAMAS) was administered to a very large (n = 1746) cohort of British children and adolescents. This large sample size meant that as well as conducting confirmatory factor analysis on the scale itself, we were also able to split the sample to conduct exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis of items from the mAMAS alongside items from child test anxiety and general anxiety rating scales. Factor analysis of the mAMAS confirmed that it has the same underlying factor structure as the original AMAS, with subscales measuring anxiety about Learning and Evaluation in math. Furthermore, both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis of the mAMAS alongside scales measuring test anxiety and general anxiety showed that mAMAS items cluster onto one factor (perceived to represent MA). The mAMAS provides a valid and reliable scale for measuring MA in children and adolescents, from a younger age than is possible with the original AMAS. Results from this study also suggest that MA is truly a unique construct, separate from both test anxiety and general anxiety, even in childhood.
AMAS, anxiety, educational psychology, factor analysis, mAMAS, math anxiety, mathematics
This project has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation (EDU/41179). The project also received funding from the James S. McDonnel Foundation (220020370).
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00011
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/263076