Publication Date

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dianna Galante, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Christopher T. White, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michael Morsches


Math anxiety is a significant problem among both traditional and adult students attending community colleges. The purpose of this study is to examine effective strategies for overcoming math anxiety in community colleges. The research question for this study was: What tools are community colleges using to help developmental math students overcome math anxiety? A qualitative systematic review of literature was used to answer the research question. The research determined various factors contributed to the development of math anxiety, which is a condition capable of persisting throughout an individual’s life. Various instruments such as the Mathematical Anxiety Ratings Scale (MARS), the Short Mathematical Anxiety Rating Scale (SMARS) and the Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale (AMAS) are useful to assist community colleges with identifying students with higher math anxiety. The research identified expressive writing, development of remedial curriculum, creation of a safe learning environment, use of brief relaxation, use of technology, and group learning techniques as tools to address math anxiety among students in developmental math courses in community colleges. The research supported the conclusion that no one tool is effective for reducing math anxiety among all students in developmental courses in community colleges.