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The role of parents and teachers in the development of gender-related math attitudes (Gunderson et al. 2012)

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Gunderson, E., Ramirez, G., Levine, S., & Beilock, S. (2012). The role of parents and teachers in the development of gender-related math attitudes. Sex Roles, 66, 153-166.


  • The study’s objective was to summarize existing literature and identify future areas for research related to the relationship between parents’ and teachers’ gender stereotypes in math and children’s mathematics performance and self-concept.
  • The authors summarized the findings of recent studies that examined parents’, teachers’, and students’ math gender stereotypes, focusing on impressions of success—whether boys or girls had above-average ability in math or were likely to succeed in math—as well as reasons for that success, particularly natural ability and effort.
  • The authors suggested three new directions for future research on this topic based on their review of the literature. First, research could investigate the links among parents’ and teachers’ math anxiety, self-efficacy, and teaching self-efficacy and their children’s or students’ attitudes. A second direction involved transmission of gender differences in theories of math intelligence—that is, whether mathematical ability is fixed or can improve through effort. Finally, research has shown that children identify with math gender stereotypes from a young age, but does not yet suggest a mechanism through which children acquire these stereotypes.

Reviewed by CLEAR

September 2015