Disassociating the relation between parents’ math anxiety and children’s math achievement: Long-term effects of a math app intervention.

Although parents’ fears and worries about math—termed math anxiety—are negatively associated with their children’s math achievement in early elementary school, access to an educational math app that 1st-grade children and parents use together can ameliorate this relation. Here we show that children of higher-math–anxious parents learn less math during 1st–3rd grades, but this is not the case when families are given a math app (even after app use markedly decreases). Reducing the link between parents’ math anxiety and their positive attitudes about math for their children helped to explain the sustained benefit of the math app. These findings indicate that interventions involving parents and children together can have powerful lasting effects on children’s academic achievement and suggest that changes in parents’ expectations for their children’s potential for success in math, and the value they place on this success, play a role in these sustained effects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)