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Frenzel, Anne C. ORCID: 0000-0002-9068-9926; Pekrun, Reinhard; Goetz, Thomas (2007): Girls and mathematics – a “hopeless” issue? A control-value approach to gender differences in emotions towards mathematics. In: European Journal of Psychology of Education, Vol. 22, No. 4: pp. 497-514
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Abstract

This study analyzed gender differences in achievement emotions in the domain of mathematics. Based on Pekrun’s (2000, 2006) controlvalue theory of achievement emotions, we hypothesized that there are gender differences in mathematics emotions due to the students’ different levels of control and value beliefs in mathematics, even when controlling for prior achievement. The structural relationships between prior achievement, control and value beliefs, and emotions were assumed to be invariant across girls and boys in spite of hypothesized mean level differences of beliefs and emotions across genders. The emotions and beliefs of 1,036 male and 1,017 female 5th grade students were assessed by self-report measures, and their prior mathematics achievement was assessed by academic grades. Even though girls and boys had received similar grades in mathematics, girls reported significantly less enjoyment and pride than boys, but more anxiety, hopelessness and shame. Findings suggested that the female emotional pattern was due to the girls’ low competence beliefs and domain value of mathematics, combined with their high subjective values of achievement in mathematics. Multiple-group comparisons confirmed that the structural relationships between variables were largely invariant across the genders.