D.B.A. Baker College (Michigan), 2015.
Specialization: Mathematics; Adult education
Mathematics anxiety and coping strategies in nontraditional students
136 pages. UMI #: 3713734
Citation, Abstract & Full text in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database
College and university student demographics are changing, with a significant increase within the adult learners, also known as nontraditional students, population returning to higher education in pursuit of a degree. Based on existing data, this population is perceived to be especially prone to mathematics anxiety, which can negatively affect self-esteem and lead to an avoidance of using numbers and, ultimately, negatively affect their higher education experience. The purpose of this study was to discover the emotions and coping strategies regarding mathematics anxiety among nontraditional students. The research utilized a quantitative approach supported by interviews to gain a richer and deeper perspective. Data collection was based on a survey of 38 students in two business mathematics classes, supplemented with interviews of 4 students. Results showed that contrary to general perceptions participants experienced little math anxiety, and most did not feel the need to use coping strategies. The students revealed that they did tend to use practice tests and alternative textbooks. Results from this study will help schools of higher education better understand adult learners as well as to potentially develop programs to assist adult learners in mathematics courses.