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Procrastination in mathematics: Anxiety, attribution, and persistence correlates

26 July 1991


This study examined affective, cognitive, and behavioral variables postulated to be associated with mathematics procrastination. A volunteer sample ill = 105) completed the following self-reports: Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale-Revised, Mathematics Attribution Scale, Procrastination Assessment Scale-Students-Revised. A persistence task and a choice task were also administered. A multiple regression was used to test the model. Fourth-order partial correlation coefficients were used to interpret the findings. An analysis of variance was used to analyze the choice task. Twenty-nine percent of the variance in the multiple regression was accounted for by the following variables: Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale- Revised, External scale of the Mathematics Attribution Scale, gender, Learned Helplessness scale of the Mathematics Attribution Scale and the number of sets from the persistence task. Mathematics anxiety and external attributional style were the two variables that when partialled out were the most strongly associated with mathematics procrastination. The third variable, gender, was also significantly associated with mathematics procrastination. Discussion focused on the utility of attributional theory for the prediction of behaviors in mathematics. In addition, limitations to this study were addressed.


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