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Additive and multiplicative effects of working memory and test anxietyon mathematics performance in grade 3 students
Åbo Akademi, Vasa, Finland.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9195-4816
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to investigate the interplay between test anxiety and working memory (WM) on mathematics performance in younger children. A sample of 624 grade 3 students completed a test battery consisting of a test anxiety scale, WM tasks, and the Swedish national examination in mathematics for grade 3. The main effects of test anxiety and WM, and the two-way interaction between test anxiety and WM on mathematics performance, were modelled with structural equation modelling techniques. Additionally, the effects were also tested separately on tasks with high WM demands (mathematical problem-solving) versus low WM demands (basic arithmetic). As expected, WM positively predicted mathematics performance in all three models (overall mathematics performance, problem-solving tasks, and basic arithmetic). Test anxiety had a negative effect on problem solving on the whole sample level but concerning basic arithmetic only students with lower WM were affected by the negative effects of test anxiety on performance. These students probably use counting based strategies that impose more WM load and have lower WM capacity than their peers who are more likely to use memory based strategies (i.e., fact-retrieval) in addition to having higher WM capacity. Thus, students with low WM are more vulnerable to the negative effects of test anxiety in low WM tasks like basic arithmetic. The results are discussed in relation to the early identification of test anxiety.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
latent interaction, mathematics, test anxiety, working memory
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-135865OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-135865DiVA: diva2:1106735
Conference
Oppimisen tutkimuksen päivät Helsingissä, Helsinki, Finland
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2017-06-08 Created: 2017-06-08 Last updated: 2017-06-08

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf