Title

A Study of the Relationship Between Science Anxiety and Grade Level, Gender, and Students' and Parents' Perceptions of Science, Scientists and Science Teachers

Date of Award

1988

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Center for Science and Math Education

First Advisor

Iva Brown

Advisor Department

Center for Science and Math Education

Abstract

This research was designed to investigate the relationship between the criterion variables of students' anxiety about science class and the independent variables of grade level, gender, and students' and parents' perceptions of science, scientists and science teachers. The sample consisted of 308 students selected from the fourth, sixth, eighth, tenth and twelfth grades of three school districts in Lake County, Illinois. Each student was administered either the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory or the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (depending on grade level), and a Semantic Differential Instrument for determining perceptions of science, scientists and science teachers. There were 162 parents of this student sample who responded and returned the Semantic Differential Instrument. The rejection level for all hypotheses in this study was at p $>$.05. Findings from this study included: (1) There was no significant relationship between science anxiety and grade level. (2) There was a significant relationship between science anxiety and: gender, (girls had higher science anxiety); students' perceptions of science, scientists and science teachers; and parents' perception of science. It was also noted that from grades four through ten, negative perceptions of science increased, particularly from grade six to grade eight.