|dc.description.abstract||Mathematical confidence has become increasingly important in our society because of the connection mathematics has with science and technology. Accordingly, the influence of affective factors in mathematics has become a significant focus in mathematics education research and within this, understanding the relationship between affective factors such as self-efficacy and mathematics anxiety. Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986) is a useful framework for understanding these factors. In this theory, learners do not learn in isolation but reflect and assimilate observed actions and interactions that are presented in their environments. Parents are a significant component of a learner’s environment and as such, play an important role in children’s learning and the development of self-efficacy (Anthony & Walshaw, 2007; Bandura, 1997). Research suggests that parental modelling of affective factors may relate to the development of maths self-efficacy and levels of emotional arousal of children (Jameson, 2014; Maloney, Ramirez, Gunderson, Levine, & Beilock, 2015; Vukovic, Roberts, & Green Wright, 2013).
This mixed method study aimed to explore the relationship between parents’ maths self-efficacy and emotional arousal to mathematics and their children’s maths self-efficacy and emotional arousal to mathematics. Reports of interactions and actions around the activity of mathematics homework provided opportunities to explore the transference of these affective factors through the act of modelling.
84 parent and child pairings from seven schools in the Otago/Southland region of New Zealand were represented in the study. The children in this study were 12-13 years old. A sequential explanatory design allowed for three phases of analysis: a quantitative, integration, and qualitative phase. No significant correlations were found when the parent’s variables maths self-efficacy and emotional arousal to mathematics, were correlated with the children’s variables maths self-efficacy and emotional arousal to mathematics. However, as a result of more in-depth analysis and consideration of emerging qualitative findings in the interactive research process, a significant positive correlation was found between fathers’ emotional arousal to mathematics and their children’s maths self-efficacy. Furthermore, for pairings who reported that the parent assisted with their children’s mathematics homework, a significant positive correlation was found between parents’ maths self-efficacy and children’s emotional arousal to mathematics. The findings from the qualitative phase suggested that the parents’ level of emotional arousal to mathematics affected their willingness to assist their children with homework. Parents who did assist were generally calm, and predominantly assisted by using techniques associated with positive engagement. Findings also suggested that fathers were calmer and more likely to express more readiness to assist with mathematics homework. Implications from the study suggest directions for future research into possible intervention programs to increase the confidence and capability of parents in the area of mathematics activities in the home. ||