Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Franz, Dana P.

Committee Member

Johnson, Corlis P.

Committee Member

Ivy, Jessica T.

Committee Member

Xu, Jianzhong

Committee Member

Binford, Paul E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education


The purpose of this study is to examine the influences certain factors have on the mathematical motivation beliefs of students in a predominantly African American setting. Mathematical motivation beliefs, for the purpose of this study, are defined as the components mathematical self-efficacy and mathematical value, both represented as dependent variables in the study. 4 independent variables were studied as potential influences regarding mathematical motivation beliefs. The variables included parental influences, teacher influences, mathematical anxiety, and the environment/setting. This research was conducted using 2 high schools in a rural area in East Mississippi. The 1st high school was predominantly African American and the 2nd high school was predominantly Caucasian. 4 scales were selected for this research study. The Mathematics Confidence Scale, developed by Dowling (1978), Mathematics Problems Performance Scale (Dowling, 1978), Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scale (Fennema, 1976), and My Class Activities Survey (MCA, Schweinle & Mims, 2009) were all used. Findings revealed that teacher influence predicted the mathematical motivation beliefs of students in a predominantly African American school environment the most. Findings also indicated that math anxiety significantly predicted math value and self-efficacy in both classroom environments. Lastly, findings revealed that mathematical problem solving was significantly predicted by mathematical self-efficacy for students in a predominantly African American environment.



African American||predominantly||motivation||Mathematical