Anxiety is not enough to drive me away: A latent profile analysis on math anxiety and math motivation



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Plos One


Mathematics anxiety (MA) and mathematics motivation (MM) are important multi-dimensional non-cognitive factors in mathematics learning. While the negative relation between global MA and MM is well replicated, the relations between specific dimensions of MA and MM are largely unexplored. The present study utilized latent profile analysis to explore profiles of various aspects of MA (including learning MA and exam MA) and MM (including importance, self-perceived ability, and interest), to provide a more holistic understanding of the math-specific emotion and motivation experiences. In a sample of 927 high school students (13-21 years old), we found 8 distinct profiles characterized by various combinations of dimensions of MA and MM, revealing the complexity in the math-specific emotion-motivation relation beyond a single negative correlation. Further, these profiles differed on mathematics learning behaviors and mathematics achievement. For example, the highest achieving students reported modest exam MA and high MM, whereas the most engaged students were characterized by a combination of high exam MA and high MM. These results call for the need to move beyond linear relations among global constructs to address the complexity in the emotion-motivation-cognition interplay in mathematics learning, and highlight the importance of customized intervention for these heterogeneous groups.



Math anxiety, Math motivation, Latent profile analysis, Adolescence


Wang Z, Shakeshaft N, Schofield K, Malanchini M (2018) Anxiety is not enough to drive me away: A latent profile analysis on math anxiety and math motivation. PLoS ONE 13(2): e0192072.