A new study finds that children of parents with anxiety around math who provided frequent homework help were learned less math over the school year and grew to be math-anxious themselves. The primary care givers of 438 first- and second-grade and the children themselves participated in the study. Students were tested on math achievement and math anxiety, and parents completed a questionnaire about their own nervousness and anxiety around math, and how much they helped their children with math homework.

"Although it is possible that there is a genetic component to math anxiety," the UChicago researchers wrote in their study published in Psychological Science, "the fact that parents' math anxiety negatively affected children only when they frequently helped them with math homework points to the need for interventions focused on both decreasing parents' math anxiety and scaffolding their skills in homework help."

Cover image: Flickr