Reciprocal relationships between attitude toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics

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Abstract

Mathematics educators have done little to investigate the reciprocal relationship between attitude toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics. In this study, the reciprocal relationship was modeled after LISREL, using data from a Dominican national evaluation of high school mathematics (N = 1, 044). Three data sets that were used to examine a hypothesized causal model demonstrated relatively good results on model-data-fit. Major findings from the model included: (a) A reciprocal relationship existed between every attitudinal measure and mathematics achievement, (b) The feeling of enjoyment, not the feeling of difficulty, directly affected mathematics achievement, (c) The feeling of difficulty functioned via the feeling of enjoyment to affect mathematics achievement, (d) The perception of mathematics as important was independent of other attitudinal measures. The findings suggest that the reciprocal or interactive nature between attitude toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics can substantially modify their casual relationship. A unilateral relationship is likely to overestimate the causal effect between attitude toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-229
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Volume90
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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