Mathematics: Self-Efficacy, Identity, and Achievement among African American Males from the High School Longitudinal Study



  • ERIC Number: ED557132 Record Type: Non-Journal Publication Date: 2014 Pages: 123 Abstractor: As Provided The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between mathematics self-efficacy and mathematics identity to mathematics achievement among African American males from High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09). Subsequently, the extent to which mathematics self-efficacy and mathematics identity accounted for low and high levels of HSLS:09 African American male mathematics achievement was examined. In addition, a standardized multiple regression analysis was conducted to determine the predictability of mathematics achievement utilizing mathematics self-efficacy and mathematics identity. This study, an extension of the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09), consisted of 1,811 African American male ninth-grade participants randomly selected from 944 public and private high schools during the fall 2009 academic year. The HSLS:09 consisted of a stratified random sample of 21,444 participants that was representative of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia (Ingels, et al., 2011). A Spearman "rho" correlational analysis and Mann-Whitney "U" test were conducted revealing significant differences between African American male ninth-grader's levels of mathematics self-efficacy and mathematics identity to that of their mathematics achievement. When reviewing the Spearman "rho" correlational analysis, a positive and significant correlation was found for mathematics self-efficacy r[subscript s] (1811) = 0.27, p = 0.00. In addition, mathematics identity revealed a similar relationship indicating significance at the 0.01 level, r[subscript s] (1811) = 0.29, p = 0.00. As a result of positive correlations, a multiple regression analysis revealed that mathematics self-efficacy and mathematics identity accounted for 9% of the variability in the model. The results from this analysis was strengthened by the outcome of the Mann-Whitney U test results, revealing a significant difference in the mathematics self-efficacy means of African American male ninth-graders in the bottom quintile, M = 304.54 ( U =0.000, p = 0.00) and those in the top quintile, M = 458.27 (U = 26029.500, p = 0.00). Descriptive statistics indicated high values for mathematics self-efficacy correlated with high mathematics achievement, and low values of mathematics self-efficacy correlated with low mathematics achievement. The average mathematics self-efficacy score was -1.05 (SD = 3.059). The mathematics identity average was -0.17 (SD = 1.832). On average, African American male ninth-graders scored below the standardized mean of zero on the mathematics self-efficacy and math identity scales. Mathematics achievement assessed by the mathematics assessment of algebraic reasoning was described in terms of quintiles based on standardized scores. The mathematics quintile (1-5) average was 2.57 for African American males (SD = 1.329). The study results, supported by the literature, indicate a positive relationship between mathematics self-efficacy and mathematics identity to mathematics achievement. Education policy makers, school administrators, and teachers should consider developing and implementing strategies to increase the mathematics efficacy and identity of African American male students. This can be achieved by implementing mathematics self-efficacy and math identity assessments during African American male's primary years of education. In spite of this significant relationship, mathematics achievement outcomes are impacted by numerous factors, such as, socio-economic, environmental and behavioral. Further explorations of these factors are needed to provide a more accurate model to improve African American male student achievement in mathematics.
  • Authors


  • STEM Education, STEM Efficacy, Mathematics, African American Males