Relationships of Gender and Mathematics Self-efficacy to Mathematics Achievement Among Grades 5 and 9 Students

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Addis Ababa University


The study was conducted among 156 grade 5 students (78 girls and 78 boys) and 157 grade 9 students (77 girls and 80 boys) of the schools of Debre Birhan town. The main objective of the study was to examine the relationships of previous math experience, specific math self-efficacy, general math self-efficacYi and subsequent math achievement among students of grades 5 and 9. The major statistics used to achieve this end were chisquare, multiple linear regression and t-test. One of the principal findings gave a hint that goes with Bandura's (1977) contention that previous experience is the most influential source of self-efficacy development. At both grade levels, task specific math self-efficacy predicted subsequent math achievement well. Besides, previous math experience made weak but significant contribution in predicting subsequent math achievement among 9th graders, but not among 5th graders. However, sex and general math selfefficacy measures did not predict subsequent math achievement in either grade. Moreover, grade 5 students were found more confident than 9th graders. The mean scores of boys and girls on all of the four variables were comparable among 51h graders. Boys and girls of grade 9 produced similar scores in previous math experience, specific math self-efficacy, and general math self-efficacy, but boys surpassed girls in subsequent math achievement. The gender gap observed in math achievement at high school level is a phenomenon repeatedly reported in many studies. Thus, high school teachers should do whatever they can to promote females' math achievement so as to develop self-efficacy in math