Math Anxiety, Achievement and Perceptions of Same-Ethnic Peers in Math Class

  •  Piper J. Harris    
  •  Sandra Graham    


Using multiple linear regression analysis, this research explores racially and ethnically diverse students’ feelings of math anxiety, how these beliefs shape their achievement in the subject, and whether students’ math anxiety and performance in mathematics vary based on students’ gender, race/ethnicity, and math level. Moreover, this study investigated the potential protective functions of perceiving a high proportion of same-ethnic peers in math class for buffering against the detrimental effects of high math anxiety on achievement. Results showed that when African American students reported a high level of math anxiety, their math grades were lower when they also perceived there to be a high proportion of same-ethnic peers in their math course compared to White students with similar levels of math anxiety and perceptions of same-ethnic peers. These results suggest that the effects of classroom same-ethnic representation for students’ academic outcomes are more nuanced than labeling it as a “protective” factor. Other contextual factors may influence the relationship between math anxiety, perceived same-ethnic representation in math class, and achievement and should be explored in future research.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0526
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0534
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: semiannual

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1. Google-based Impact Factor (2021): 1.11
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