Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Mueller, Richard J., 1927-

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)


Department of Learning, Development, and Special Education


High school students--Psychology||Sex differences (Psychology)||Mathematics--Study and teaching (Secondary)


This study was designed to identify the relative impact of math exposure versus social/cultural factors and selected family characteristics. The overall dependent variable is measured by the Mathematics Attitude Inventory (MAI), by Richard S. Sandman, an instrument designed to measure the following six constructs: 1. Perception of the Mathematics Teacher 2. Anxiety toward Mathematics 3. Value of Mathematics in Society 4. Self-Concept in Mathematics 5. Enjoyment in Mathematics 6. Motivation in Mathematics A total of 1,573 students were sampled from a population of freshmen through seniors from three high schools located in the west suburban area of Chicago. The ratio of males to females was 8:7, with each grade level at each high school consisting of at least 223 subjects. The data gathering was done during a mathematics class, and the entire procedure was supervised by a male teacher. Students provided the following demographic items on parent or sibling guidance in mathematics: (1) sex; (2) grade level (freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior); (3) semesters of math taken in high school; (4) estimated overall GPA; (5) estimated math GPA; (6) post-high school educational/vocational plans; (7) amount of past or present parental help in mathematics; (8) amount of past or present sibling help in mathematics; (9) existence of a sibling with exceptional math ability; and (10) choice of a technical vs. nontechnical career preference. The data were analyzed by computer utilizing SPSS-X statistical routines. Stepwise regression analyses were performed with each of the six subscales as dependent variables. In addition, ANOVA and chi-square analyses were done on various combinations of subscales against demographic data and respondent characteristics with major emphasis on comparisons by gender. The results suggest that females--overall--have more positive attitudes toward mathematics than males. Also, both the freshmen and the seniors appear to be more positive toward mathematics than sophomores and juniors.


Bibliography: pages [51]-54.


vi, 63 pages




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