RELAXATION AND COGNITIVE RESTRUCTURING THERAPIES IN THE REDUCTION OF MATHEMATICS ANXIETYAMONG JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN IBADAN LAND, NIGERIA

Joseph Olusola FEHINTOLA

Abstract


The present study examined the effects of relaxation and cognitive restructuring therapies (RT & CRT) on mathematics anxiety among junior secondary school 2 students. In a non-randomized trial with pre- and post-assessments, n = 90 of JSS2 students were allocated to relaxation and cognitive restructuring therapies (experimental groups) and no training (passive control group). Relaxation and cognitive restructuring were taught by the researcher for the period of eight weeks. Mathematics anxiety was operationalised through behavioural indicators, namely goal driving, cognitive flexibility, cognitive inhibition, and data-driven information processing. Three major instruments were used for this study; they are mathematics achievement scale, mathematics anxiety scale and students’ attitude towards mathematics scale. The reliability coefficients of the three scales are 0.87, 0.89 and 0.75 respectively. The results indicated that there is significant treatment effect in reducing mathematics anxiety among the participants [F= 51.62, df. = 2/74, p<0.05] and that relaxation therapy is more effective than cognitive restructuring therapy regarding the mathematics anxiety [RT = 53.1429, CRT = 77.9722 & Control group= 89.6303] . There were significant effects of gender [F = 4.49, df. = 1/74, p< 0.05] and students’ attitude [F = 4.29, df. = 2/74, p<0.05] towards mathematics of the participants on mathematics anxiety. The researcher concludes that relaxation therapy and cognitive training are effective in the reduction of mathematics anxiety among the participants and that gender and students’ attitude towards mathematics of the participants’ moderated mathematics anxiety of the participants. Therefore, recommendations were made that relaxation and cognitive restructuring therapies should be used to assist any student that is suffering from mathematics anxiety in his/her studies to avoid resources wastages and to enhance performance in mathematics.

Keywords


Relaxation therapy, Cognitive Restructuring Therapy, Reduction, Mathematics Anxiety

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