Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 199–217 | Cite as

Mathematics achievement and gender: A longitudinal study of selected cognitive and affective variables [grades 6–12]

  • Lindsay Anne Tartre
  • Elizabeth Fennema


This study examined the relationship of selected cognitive and affective variables to mathematics achievement for a random sample of 60 students as they progressed through 6th, 8th,10th and 12th grades. A consistent gender difference was found for stereotyping mathematics as a male domain. No consistent significant gender difference between means was found for spatial skills, verbal skill or mathematics achievement. Confidence, verbal skill and spatial visualization were each consistently positively correlated with mathematics achievement for both males and females. No gender difference was found for these correlations. However, spatial skills alone were found to be consistent significant predictors of mathematics achievement for females each year of the study, but not for males. Verbal skill was a consistent significant predictor of mathematics achievement for males, but not for females. The results of this study could lead to a reevaluation of the hypothesis that spatial skills help boys achieve in mathematics.


Gender Difference Longitudinal Study Random Sample 12th Grade Significant Gender Difference 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lindsay Anne Tartre
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Fennema
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsCalifornia State UniversityLong BeachUSA
  2. 2.Wisconsin Centre for Educational ResearchUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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