The Effect of Math Anxiety on the Academic Success of Developmental Mathematics Students at a Texas Community College

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Curriculum and Instruction

Date of Award

Spring 2014


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between math anxiety and academic success of developmental mathematics students at a Texas community college based on age, gender, and level of developmental mathematics program. A quantitative, casual-comparative design was used to determine relationships. A total of 185 developmental mathematics students were surveyed using the Revised Mathematics Anxiety Scale and a demographic questionnaire. Of the 185 survey packets returned, fully completed, and analyzed, 61.6% (N = 114) of the participants were female, 44.3% (N= 82) of the participants were between the ages of 18 and 22 years old, 24.9% (N = 46) of the participants were enrolled in the fourth level of developmental mathematics (DMAT 0098), and 28.6% (N = 53) of the participants earned a C for their final course grade. Of the 185 participants, 41.1% (N = 76) were enrolled in a low difficulty level developmental course (DMAT 0066 or DMAT 0090), and 58.9% (N = 109) were enrolled in a high difficulty level developmental mathematics course (DMAT 0097, DMAT 0098, or DMAT 0099). Of all the participants, 70.3% (N = 132) successfully completed their developmental mathematics course with a letter grade of A, B, or C, indicating academic success. A total of 57.3% (N = 106) of the participants scored a 71 or lower on the RMARS, which indicated a low level of math anxiety. A total of 42.7% (N = 79) of the participants scored a 72 or higher on the RMARS, which indicated a high level of math anxiety. A statistical difference existed between level of math anxiety based on developmental mathematics courses with low and high-level difficulty, but there was no statistical difference between level of math anxiety based on age or gender.


Madeline Justice

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Higher Education