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Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicología del Principado de Asturias).
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Development and Validation of the Brief Math Anxiety Scale (BMAS) in University Students

M. Isabel Núñez-Peña1,2,3 and Georgina Guilera1,2

1University of Barcelona (Spain),
2Institute of Neurosciences, University of Barcelona (Spain),
3 Institut de Recerca Sant Joan de Déu, Esplugues de Llobregat (Spain)

Background: This study developed the Brief Math Anxiety Scale (BMAS), a brief version of the Shortened Math Anxiety Rating Scale (sMARS), maintaining its original three-factor structure, by applying item response theory. Method: The sMARS was administered to 1,349 undergraduates, along with other questionnaires to measure their math ability, trait and test anxieties, and attitudes toward mathematics. Results: Results showed that the original scale could be reduced to nine items (three for each subscale). We provided evidence of good psychometric properties: strong internal consistency, adequate 7-week test-retest reliability, and good convergent/discriminant validity. Conclusions: In conclusion, the BMAS provides valid interpretations and reliable scores for assessing math anxiety in university students, and is especially useful in situations with time constraints where the longer form is impractical.

Antecedentes: En este estudio se presenta el desarrollo de la Brief Math Anxiety Scale (BMAS), una versión breve de la Shortened Math Anxiety Rating Scale (sMARS) manteniendo su estructura original de tres factores, aplicando la teoría de respuesta al ítem. Método: La sMARS, así como otros cuestionarios para medir su capacidad matemática, la ansiedad rasgo y frente a los exámenes y las actitudes hacia las matemáticas, se administraron a 1.349 estudiantes universitarios. Resultados: Los resultados mostraron que la escala original podía reducirse a nueve ítems (tres para cada subescala). Proporcionamos evidencia de sus buenas propiedades psicométricas: consistencia interna excelente, adecuada fiabilidad test-retest a las 7 semanas y buena validez convergente/discriminante. Conclusiones: En conclusión, la BMAS proporciona interpretaciones válidas y puntuaciones fiables para evaluar la ansiedad matemática en estudiantes universitarios y es especialmente útil en situaciones con disponibilidad de tiempo limitado, donde la forma más larga no es aplicable.

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