Mathematics-related self-beliefs: How important are they in predicting Achievement? Evidence from lower secondary school adolescents in Bahir Dar

  • Tesfaye Semela
  • Negasi Hagos
  • Esa Aliye
  • Tsedeke Desta


This study examines the degree to which cognitive and affective aspects of mathematics learning shape adolescents’ interest and achievement in mathematics. It specifically investigates age-related patterns of interest and achievement in mathematics based on a randomly drawn sample of 137 (male = 54 and female = 83) grade 9 students in a large urban secondary school in Bahir Dar. The adapted Amharic versions of Mathematics Self–Efficacy (MSE), Mathematics Self-Concept (MSC), Mathematics Interest (Mathematics Interest), and Mathematics Anxiety (Mathematics-Anxiety) scales originally developed for Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) were employed to collect data. Mathematics Achievement (MAch) was measured based on composite mean class scores. The adapted Amharic measures yielded acceptable internal consistency reliabilities ranging from 0.67- 0.81 and statistically significant convergent and discriminant validity coefficients among the four sub-scales (r = -.20, p < .05 to r = .67, p < .001). Hierarchical and simultaneous Multiple Regression procedures were used to address the major research questions. The findings revealed that MSE and MSC are strong predictors of Mathematics interest and achievement. On the other hand, MAch is significantly predicted by Gender, Mathematics-Anxiety, and mathematics related self-beliefs (MSE and MSC). A declining trend in Mathematics-Interest and achievement is also evident with increasing age. Finally, the study outlines the implications of the findings.


Download data is not yet available.


Ashcraft, M. H., and Krause, J. A. (2007). Working memory, mathematics performance, and mathematics anxiety. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. 14:243–248.
Ashcraft, M.H. and Kirk, E.P. (2001). The relationships among working memory, mathematics anxiety, and performance. Journal of Experimental Psychology-General. 130(2):224-237.
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Bassi, M., Steca, P., Fave, A. D. and Caprara, G. V. (2007). Academic self-efficacy beliefs and quality of experience in learning. J Youth Adolescence.36:301–312.
Baumert, J.and Köller, O. (1998). Interest research in secondary level I: An overview. In L. Hoffmann, A. Krapp, K. A. Renninger, and J. Baumert (eds.), Interest and learning (pp. 241–256). Kiel: IPN.
Beasley, T. M., Long, J. D. and Natali, M. (2001). A confirmatory factor analysis of the mathematics Anxiety Scale for Children. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development. 34:14-26.
More inside the PDF
How to Cite
SEMELA, Tesfaye et al. Mathematics-related self-beliefs: How important are they in predicting Achievement? Evidence from lower secondary school adolescents in Bahir Dar. The Ethiopian Journal of Education, [S.l.], v. 35, n. 2, p. 31 - 80, nov. 2015. ISSN 2523-0980. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 sep. 2018.
Please advise your journal citation style before using the above citation format, you can also find your citation style from citation formats listed down.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>