Parks, M. Q. (2009). Possible effects of calculators on the problem solving abilities and mathematical anxiety of students with learning disabilities or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (Publication No. 3366816) [Doctoral dissertation, Walden University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/305079627
Walden University (Minneapolis, MN); ProQuest document ID: 305079627
Calculator use was examined.
Forty-five middle school students from a rural school district in the Southeast (U.S.) participated. There were three comparison groups: 15 students with learning disabilities (LD), 15 students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and 15 students who were of average intelligence with no disabilities.
The dependent variables were mathematical word problem-solving ability scores as measured by the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Second Edition (KTEA-II) subtest on Math Concepts and Applications, and math anxiety scores as measured by the Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale (AMAS; Hopko et al., 2003), a self-report survey.
The comparison of the three groups' scores on the math skills test and math anxiety scale yielded several results. The scores in problem-solving skills of students with LD and those with ADHD were significantly lower than the scores of those without disabilities. Further, there were no significant effects on the scores of either disability group for those receiving the calculator accommodation compared to students with disabilities who did not use calculators. Additionally, the use of the calculator accommodation had no significant effect on the math anxiety of any group, including students with LD and students with ADHD. However, students in both disability groups did experience significantly higher math anxiety than students without disabilities. The author noted that, in fact, some students with disabilities actually experienced higher math anxiety when using the calculator accommodation, and recommended that teachers ought to be careful about the fit of this accommodation to specific students with LD and with ADHD. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research possibilities were suggested.