Mechanisms of the intergenerational transmission of math anxiety from mothers to their children

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Math anxiety is prevalent among children as early as first grade, and recent research suggests that the development of math anxiety among elementary school children may be influenced by their interactions with math-anxious teachers and parents. This study examined maternal behaviors that might, in part, explain how math anxiety is transferred from mothers to children during math homework-helping situations, namely mothers' use of autonomy-support versus controlling behaviors, their use of person- versus process-based praise, and their affect. Forty mothers and their second- or third-grade children completed two math worksheet tasks together, which were videotaped and coded for maternal behaviors. Mothers' and children's math anxiety and perceptions of their math competence were also assessed. Findings revealed that mothers' math anxiety is significantly and positively associated with boys', but not girls', math anxiety. Additionally, mothers' with high math anxiety were more likely to adopt controlling behaviors when helping their children with a math task and were more likely to make negative affective comments, especially when the math problem was difficult for the child. Children's math anxiety was predicted by mothers' use of controlling behaviors and their use of negative affective comments.


Type of resource text
Form electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
Extent 1 online resource.
Place California
Place [Stanford, California]
Publisher [Stanford University]
Copyright date 2018; ©2018
Publication date 2018; 2018
Issuance monographic
Language English


Author LeMahieu, Rebekah A
Degree supervisor Stipek, Deborah J, 1950-
Thesis advisor Stipek, Deborah J, 1950-
Thesis advisor Langer-Osuna, Jennifer
Thesis advisor Levine, Susan
Degree committee member Langer-Osuna, Jennifer
Degree committee member Levine, Susan
Associated with Stanford University, Graduate School of Education.


Genre Theses
Genre Text

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Rebekah A. LeMahieu.
Note Submitted to the Graduate School of Education.
Thesis Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2018.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2018 by Rebekah LeMahieu
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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