Gender Influence on Statistics Anxiety among Graduate Students

Abstract: The present study was conducted to further explore gender-based differences in the experience of statistics anxiety among graduate students. A sample of 75 graduate students from a mid-sized research university in the southeastern United States were recruited to participate in a survey concerning statistics anxiety. Data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of covariance and discriminant analysis. Using the Statistics Anxiety Rating Scale, students’ statistics anxiety was measured. After accounting for age, the findings revealed a significant gender difference in statistics anxiety. A significant covariate effect of age indicated that older graduate students reported experiencing higher levels of anxiety as compared to their younger peers. Age accounted for 21% of variance in the combined statistics anxiety subscales. Analysis further revealed that males experienced higher levels of anxiety when seeking statistics help from a fellow student or a professor than did females. Implications for the design of statistics courses are discussed.

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