Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 435–446 | Cite as

Science Anxiety and Gender in Students Taking General Education Science Courses

  • M. K. Udo
  • G. P. Ramsey
  • J. V. Mallow


Earlier studies [Mallow, J. V. (1994). Gender-related science anxiety: A first binational study. Journal of Science Education and Technology 3: 227–238; Udo, M. K., Ramsey, G. P., Reynolds-Alpert, S., and Mallow, J. V. (2001). Does physics teaching affect gender-based science anxiety? Journal of Science Education and Technology 10: 237–247] of science anxiety in various student cohorts suggested that nonscience majors were highly science anxious (SA), regardless of what science courses they were taking. In this study, we investigated science anxiety in a cohort consisting mostly of nonscience majors taking general education science courses. Regression analysis shows that the leading predictors of science anxiety are (i) nonscience anxiety and (ii) gender, as they were for different cohorts in the earlier studies. We confirm earlier findings that females are more SA than males. Chi-square analysis of acute science anxiety shows an amplification of these differences. We found statistically significant levels of science anxiety in humanities and social science students of both genders, and gender differences in science anxiety, despite the fact that the students were all enrolled in general education science courses specifically designed for nonscience majors. We found acute levels of anxiety in several groups, especially education, nursing, and business majors. We describe specific interventions to alleviate science anxiety.

science anxiety nonscience majors gender 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsLoyola University ChicagoChicago

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