Math anxiety, a hierarchical construct: Development and validation of the Scale for Assessing Math Anxiety in Secondary education

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Abstract
Secondary students’ low achievement and engagement in mathematics is known to relate closely to their math anxiety. Despite the international body of research, the theoretical conceptualization of the construct math anxiety is still debated, showing strong discrepancies regarding its factor structure. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to develop and validate a new instrument, called Scale for Assessing Math Anxiety in Secondary education (SAMAS), by testing several models through confirmatory factor analysis. Data were collected from 563 secondary students, with an average age of 13.96 (SD=1.09) years. Several models for the construct were tested through confirmatory factor analysis. The results largely confirmed that the hierarquical structure showed the best fit to the data (χ2(166, N=563)=361.22; RMSEA=.046; SRMR=.045; NNFI=.94; CFI=.95), resulting in the psychometrically sound 20-item SAMAS, wherein math anxiety comprises three underlying factors.
Year of Publication
2017
Journal
Ansiedad y Estrés
Volume
23
Issue
2-3
Number of Pages
59-65
Publisher
ISSN Number
1134-7937
URL
http://www.elsevier.es/es-revista-ansiedad-estres-242-articulo-math-anxiety-hierarchical-construct-development-S1134793717300532
DOI
10.1016/J.ANYES.2017.10.001