The objectives of this study were: (1) To test for Gender difference in mean scores of each of the psychological variables. (2) To test for Gender difference by testing for independence between Gender and each of the psychological variables. (3) To test for Gender difference in the relationship between the psychological variables and Achievement in Mathematics. (4) To derive the psychological factor structure of boys and girls separately by means of factor analysis and to compare the two factor structures for Gender difference.
The sample consisted of 703 secondary school pupils drawn from 16 schools of 8 different districts of Kerala state by using stratified sampling technique.Tools used in this study were: Generalized Test of Achievement in mathematics by Sumangala and Thampuratti; Test of Mathematics Aptitude by Sumangala and Thampuratti; Test of Mathematics Creativity by Sumangala and Thampuratt; Scale of Self-concept in Mathematics Anxiety by Sumangala and Thampuratti; and Scale of Aptitude towards Mathematics by Sumangala and Sunny.Survey method was adopted for the study. The study was designed with Gender as the independent variable. The dependent variables were Achievement in Mathematics (AcM), Numerical Ability (NA), Numerical Reasoning (NR), Ability to use Symbols (AS), Spatial Ability (SA), Abstract Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Aptitude (MAp), Mathematical Creativity (MC), Self-concept in Mathematics (SM), Mathematical Anxiety (MAn), and Attitude towards Mathematics (AtM).Statistical Techniques used were Two-tailed test of significance of difference between mean scores for large independent samples; λ test of significance of difference between correlations for large independent samples; and Principal components factor analysis followed by Varimax rotation.
The findings of this study were: (1) Gender difference was significant for six out of eleven psychological variables with preference to Boys except in Mathematics Anxiety. Boys had low Mathematical Anxiety as compared to girls. The six variables were Self-concept in Mathematics, Mathematical Anxiety, Mathematical Creativity, Spatial Ability, Numerical Ability, and Abstract Reasoning. (2) Gender significantly depended on six psychological variables in the order of importance, viz. Spatial Ability, Numerical Ability, Ability to use Symbols, Abstract Reasoning, Mathematical Creativity and Mathematical Anxiety. The co-efficient suggested that the relationship was low between Gender and the six psychological variables. (3) When the extent of relation between Achievement in Mathematics and the remaining ten psychological variables obtained for Boys and Girls were compared, it was found out that significant Gender Difference existed in the relation between Achievement in Mathematics and four psychological variables, Attitude towards Mathematics, Mathematical Anxiety, Numerical Ability and Ability to use Symbols. (4) It is also found out that, as similarities were more in the two factor structures of (Boys and Girls) than dissimilarities, considerable gender difference did not exist in the psychological factor structures of Boys and Girls.
Keyword(s): Mathematical Domain , Gender Differences