Date of Award

Summer 8-10-2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Kenneth Rice, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Jeff Ashby, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Page Anderson, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Maggie Renken, Ph.D.

Abstract

Math anxiety has been consistently associated with lowered math performance and achievement regardless of skills and abilities. These decrements in math performance and achievement and accompanying avoidance of opportunities to improve math skills can have outsize influence on the school and career path of college students. In the following chapter, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the last 30 years of intervention literature for math anxiety, focusing on math performance as an outcome of interest. For the nine studies that fit the inclusion criteria we summarize the effect sizes, though moderator analyses were not conducted due to low heterogeneity between studies and lack of power to detect effects. We discuss implications and directions for future research on math anxiety. In the following study, noting the importance of appraisal processes in math anxiety, we examined the effect of a brief online arousal reappraisal intervention on math performance and math anxiety. We also investigate whether pre-intervention math anxiety moderates the effect of arousal reappraisal on math performance, hypothesizing that highly math anxious individuals will show greater conditional effects than individuals with low or moderate levels of math anxiety. Results supported the moderation of the intervention effect by pre-intervention math anxiety, but in the opposite direction of the hypothesized conditional effect. More specifically, students in the intervention group with moderate or lower levels of pre-intervention math anxiety scored significantly higher than students with similar levels of pre-intervention math anxiety in the control group, while there were no significant group differences when students had higher levels of math anxiety.

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