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No Excess of Mathematics Anxiety in Adolescents Born Very Preterm

Trickett, J; Gilmore, C; Cragg, L; Clayton, S; Marlow, N; Simms, V; Spong, R; (2021) No Excess of Mathematics Anxiety in Adolescents Born Very Preterm. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics , 42 (3) pp. 220-226. 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000884. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: To assess whether adolescents born very preterm (VP; <32 weeks' gestation) have an excess of mathematics anxiety compared with their classmates born at term. / Methods: This cohort study included 127 adolescents born VP (51% male, mean age 13.9 years, SD 0.7) and 95 term-born classmates (56% male, mean age 13.7 years, SD 0.7) who completed the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test Second UK Edition and the Mathematics Anxiety Scale-UK at the age of 11 to 15 years. Self-reported trait anxiety was assessed using a composite of 3 items from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. / Results: Adolescents born VP had significantly poorer mathematics attainment than adolescents born at term (difference in means: −0.64 SD; 95% confidence interval −0.95 to −0.34). However, there were no between-group differences in self-reported mathematics anxiety or trait anxiety. There were significant moderate associations between mathematics anxiety and mathematics attainment for adolescents born VP (rho: −0.45) and at term (rho: −0.54), after controlling for trait anxiety. / Conclusion: Adolescents born VP do not have heightened mathematics anxiety compared with their term-born classmates, despite poorer attainment in mathematics. Improving domain-general cognitive skills and scaffolding learning in the classroom may be more promising avenues for intervention than attempting to reduce mathematics anxiety.

Type: Article
Title: No Excess of Mathematics Anxiety in Adolescents Born Very Preterm
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000884
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1097/DBP.0000000000000884
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Preterm; outcome; anxiety; mathematics; cognition
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Neonatology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115019
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