Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
School of Education
Scot Headley, Ph.D
Dane Joseph, Ph.D
Susanna Thornhill, Ph.D
Eighty second-grade students participated in a five day study to assess the potential benefits of utilizing expressive writing as a tool to reduce math anxiety and increase math achievement in highly math-anxious (HMA), primary-age children. This quasi-experimental design used a three-way mixed ANOVA to assess if students with high math anxiety, as measured on the MASYC-R survey, would show decreased levels of math anxiety after expressively writing about mathematical concerns for one week, compared to their peers who wrote expressively about a topic of choice.
At posttest, many students did show an increase in math achievement and a decrease in anxiety, however, results indicated no statistically significant three-way or two-way interaction between anxiety, time, and type of expressive writing within this study. Both the MASYC-R and the i-Ready computational assessment were found to be reliable measures for assessing math anxiety in young children and mathematical computation respectively. Utilization of a larger sample size, a longer time frame for the study, and incorporating a true control group are suggestions for future research in the area of expressive writing as a means to reduce math anxiety in young children.
Walter, Hope, "The Effect of Expressive Writing on Second-Grade Math Achievement and Math Anxiety" (2018). Doctor of Education (EdD). 106.