Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lacampagne, Carole B.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Mathematical Sciences


This study was undertaken in an attempt to decrease the mathematics anxiety and thereby improve the performance of a group of twenty-four freshmen college students in a special admissions program at Northern Illinois University. The study was conducted in an intermediate algebra class and used a behavior modification approach for reducing anxiety. A book entitled Building Confidence in Mathematics was written by the experimenter and provided for the students’ use. The workshop met twice a week for three weeks and was run by the experimenter and a counselor. The students were given a pre-test and post-test of the Phobos anxiety scale. Data for the difference between pre-test and post-test levels of anxiety in three areas were analyzed. The areas were numerical anxiety, test anxiety, and abstraction anxiety. A paired t-test was used for the data. Results significant at the .05 level were found for two of the areas: (Test anxiety (p = .0108) and abstraction anxiety (p = .0453). A more thorough investigation is called for, but findings indicate that a behavior modification approach may be useful for reducing mathematics anxiety in this population.


Includes bibliographical references.


103 pages (various pagings)




Northern Illinois University

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