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Mathematics anxiety, attitude and performance among secondary school students in Kenya

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Mathematics anxiety and attitude have a great influence on mathematics performance. This article presents an analysis of the relationship between Mathematics anxiety, attitude and performance. The study adopted a correlational research design. The analysis is based on the responses of 367 students who were randomly selected from 55 secondary schools. An adapted Mathematics Anxiety Scale (MAS) and Attitude towards Mathematics Inventory (ATMI) were used. The performance grades for the students were also gathered from the teachers whereby the list that contained the students’ marks also contained the admission numbers of the students for easier linkage with the individual student questionnaire. The data were analyzed using the scatter plot diagram to give the outline of the relationship and Spearman’s correlation coefficient to find out whether there is a significant relationship between Mathematics anxiety, Mathematics attitude and performance. There was a positive significant linear relationship between Mathematics anxiety and Mathematics attitude (r= 0.538, p< 0.05). There was a negative significant linear relationship between Mathematics performance and Mathematics anxiety (r= -0.723, p< 0.05).  This shows that Mathematics attitude correlates with Mathematics anxiety which later correlates with Mathematics performance of the students, hence the two variables should be given appropriate attention to produce better and positive results in terms of performance.

Key words: Mathematics anxiety, Mathematics attitude, Mathematics performance.

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