By: Krystle Crossman
Math classes are difficult for almost everyone. Some people get major anxiety at the thought of having to learn a new formula or taking a statistics class. This may not entirely be due to bad memories of math or not being able to do it however. It may be something that has to do with your genetics.
Ohio State University researchers found that genetics may be the cause of your mathematical anxiety. People who tend to have genetic risk factors for anxiety itself are far more likely to have anxiety about a math class than other people. The researchers say that you cannot solely blame genetics for this but it does make up 40% of the differences in individuals when it comes to math anxiety.
Most of the anxiety is caused by the way you have been taught before. This isn’t to say that you had a bad teacher necessarily but they may have moved at a pace that was faster than could be handled or they may not have spent enough one-on-one time with you. The anxiety is even worse for people who have a hard time in the classes and also have a genetic predisposition to being filled with anxiety.
The study was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry which used data from a study of 298 same-s*x fraternal twins and 216 identical twins. They all completed tests that had to do with math, reading, and comprehension skills with math word problems. They were followed up on as they moved through the school years. The study started when they were in kindergarten or first grade and moved through the years until they were between ages 9 and 15. The assessments measured their levels of anxiety in general and anxiety over math.