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Child Development Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 396071, 8 pages
Research Article

Beliefs, Anxiety, and Avoiding Failure in Mathematics

Faculty of Education, Health and Sciences, University of Derby, Derby DE22 1GB, UK

Received 1 June 2012; Revised 26 August 2012; Accepted 29 August 2012

Academic Editor: Ann Dowker

Copyright © 2012 Steve Chinn. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mathematics anxiety has been the subject of several books and numerous research papers, suggesting that it is a significant issue for many people. Children and adults develop strategies to cope with this anxiety, one of which is avoidance. This paper presents data taken from over 2500 mathematics test papers in order to compare the levels of accuracy and the frequency of the use of the “no attempt” strategy, that is, avoidance, for arithmetic problems given to children aged from 10 years to adults aged up to 49 years from across the UK.