European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 621–640 | Cite as

Impact of math self-efficacy, math anxiety, and growth mindset on math and science career interest for middle school students: the gender moderating effect

  • Xiaoxia HuangEmail author
  • Jie Zhang
  • Laura Hudson


This study tested a proposed model consisting of mathematics anxiety, mathematics self-efficacy, and implicit theories of intelligence in predicting mathematics and science career interest in middle school students, while controlling for student math level. One hundred fifty-two seventh-grade students in a middle school in the USA participated in the study. Results revealed both similarities and differences on the relation among the intended variables by gender. The path analyses showed that, for boys, mathematics self-efficacy mediated the relation between implicit theories of intelligence and mathematics and science career interest. In addition, student mathematics level exerted a direct impact on mathematics anxiety, growth mindset, and career interest for boys. For girls, mathematics anxiety exerted a direct impact on their career interest. Implications of the results are discussed.


Self-efficacy Anxiety Implicit theories of intelligence Career interest Gender difference 



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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Teacher Education, College of Education and Behavioral SciencesWestern Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA
  2. 2.Department of Curriculum and InstructionUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  3. 3.South Warren Middle SchoolBowling GreenUSA

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