Adaptation and Psychometric Evaluation of Modified Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale for Children in Serbia

Abstract

Previous research of math anxiety (MA) was largely concerned with the population of high school students. Although there are findings on the existence of MA at early primary school age, a very small number of questionnaires or scales, which have been validated in several cultures and can be used in research with children of this age, have been detected in the literature. The aim of this research was the psychometric evaluation and short validation of Modified Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale (mAMAS) for children in Serbia. The study was conducted on a sample of 301 early elementary school students from Serbia (mean age 8.79 years). The results of the research indicate a 2-factor solution of this scale. Both components, Math Evaluation Anxiety and Math Learning Anxiety, have satisfactory reliability coefficients and negative relations with math grades. Additionally, there were no detected gender differences on these measures. IRT analysis indicates that both components show satisfactory psychometric properties and all of the items show significant contributions to their respective scales. Both scales exhibit similar properties in that they offer precise discrimination of respondents with average and higher MA levels, which is encouraging as the scale could be used as a screening tool for children who experience problems with MA.

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Fig. 1
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Notes

  1. 1.

    95% confidence intervals (CI) based on 1000 bootstrap samples.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Jasna Milošević for the help with English translation.

Funding

The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: this work was partially supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, Grant No. ON17900.

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Correspondence to Ilija Milovanović.

Appendices

Appendix A. Modified Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale (mAMAS) for Children—Serbian Translation (Left) and Original Items (Right)

Koliko si nervozan/na kada... How nervous are you when …
moraš da vežbaš zadatke iz radnog lista? Having to complete a work sheet by yourself.
razmišljaš o kontrolnom zadatku iz matematike? Thinking about a maths test the day before you take it.
posmatraš kako učitelj rešava zadatke iz matematike na tabli? Watching the teacher work out a maths problem on the board.
radiš kontrolni iz matematike? Taking a maths test.
moraš da uradiš težak domaći zadatak iz matematike? Being given maths homework with lots of difficult questions that you have to hand in the next day.
slušaš učitelja kako objašnjava matematiku na času? Listening to the teacher talk for a long time in maths.
slušaš druga kako objašnjava neki zadatak iz matematike? Listening to another child in your class explain a maths problem.
učitelj organizuje iznenadni kviz na početku časa matematike? Finding out that you are going to have a surprise maths quiz when you start your maths lesson.
počneš da učiš novu lekciju na času matematike? Starting a new topic in maths.
Fig. 3
figure3

Pictorial Likert scale used for the mAMAS scale

Appendix B

Fig. 4
figure4

Category response curves of the Evaluation scale items. The first row depicts CRCs for items 2 and 4. The second row depicts CRCs for items 5 and 8. X-axis is latent trait, and Y-axis is response probability

Fig. 5
figure5

Category response curves of the Learning scale items. The first row depicts CRCs for items 1 and 3, the second row for items 6 and 7, and the third row for item 9. X-axis is latent trait, and Y-axis is response probability

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Milovanović, I., Branovački, B. Adaptation and Psychometric Evaluation of Modified Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale for Children in Serbia. Int J of Sci and Math Educ 19, 579–598 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-020-10066-w

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Keywords

  • Math anxiety
  • mAMAS
  • IRT analysis
  • Psychometric evaluation
  • Early elementary school children