THE EFFECT OF INTERVENTIONS ON ANXIETY AND PERFORMANCE OF FIRST-YEAR TERTIARY PSYCHOLOGY STATISTICS STUDENTS - A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

Mitra Jazayeri, Xia Li, Natasha Beggs

Abstract


Experiencing anxiety when studying statistics as a prerequisite subject is commonplace for students around the world. Statistics is often required as a core subject in a wide range of university degrees including science, engineering, social sciences, law and health. As a result, the pressures faced in passing statistics subjects can lead to high levels of anxiety and stress. Statistics anxiety may affect students’ attitudes and perceived competence, confidence and consequently their performance. The aim of this research is to investigate the interventions which have been utilised in reducing statistics anxiety in the modern teaching environment and to evaluate their efficacy in improving students’ performance. As such, this research provides better insight into the influence of interventions and the magnitude of their effects and impact. After conducting a search of four databases and removing duplicates, 1673 articles were screened by two reviewers independently, and the methodological quality of the research was examined prior to data extraction from short-listed articles. The primary outcome of interest was whether the intervention improved the students’ performance. Secondary outcomes included the number or proportion of students with reduced anxiety. Twenty-one articles were shortlisted for qualitative and quantitative analysis, from which only three articles utilised interventions. Results of these will be discussed.

Keywords


interventions, systematic review, statistics anxiety, performance, psychology students

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