The Intergenerational Transmission of Mathematics Attitudes

Vidal Olivares, Robert J Ceglie
222 118


Cold sweats, head shakes, and memories of hardship are the common reactions when adults are introduced to a high school mathematics teacher. These negative reactions contribute to an attitude towards mathematics that continues to permeate American society. Unfortunately, there is a growing concern that these negative attitudes may be passed from adults to susceptible youth resulting in a never-ending cycle of dislike towards mathematics. The current study aimed to investigate the ways in which students internalize the mathematics attitudes of their parents in light of mathematics capital theory. Instruments measuring self-efficacy beliefs in mathematics, as well as value placed on learning content were administered to all juniors, seniors, and their parents in a suburban school district. The survey data was analyzed to identify candidates for interviews. Interviews of eight parents and their children were conducted to explore the sources of the students’ self-efficacy beliefs. Findings revealed that the relationship between a parent and child’s belief systems is complex and varies according to the parent’s level of mathematics beliefs.


Mathematics attitudes, Parental beliefs, Self-efficacy, Mathematics capital

Full Text:



Olivares, V. & Ceglie, R.J. (2020). The intergenerational transmission of mathematics attitudes. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology (IJEMST), 8(2), 76-91.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Place of Publication: Turkey & Name of Publisher: Ismail Sahin