The Affective Dimensions of Mathematical Difficulties in Schoolchildren

M Lebens, Peter Mayer, Martin Graff

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Mathematical difficulties (MDs) are frequently characterised by cognitive deficits such as ineffective problem solving strategies and a lack of computational fluency. The established literature indicates that mathematical achievement is not only a function of cognitive factors but it also points to the importance of affective factors for the development of mathematical achievement. In the light of this evidence, the exploration of children's affective responses towards mathematics becomes a central issue. Whereas previous studies tended to research affective motivational constructs such as self-efficacy in isolation from other related constructs, the literature suffers from a shortage of research on the relationship between different affective motivational variables and their impact on mathematical achievement in different age and achievement bands. The present paper aims to address this aim by employing a newly developed instrument to measure affective motivational variables. Overall, the present findings support the assumption that children of average ability are less influenced by affective factors than children with mathematical difficulties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 13
Number of pages12
JournalEducational Research International
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jan 2011


  • mathematical difficulties in schoolchildren
  • computational fluency
  • mathematical education
  • affective motivational variables


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