In educational contexts, it is assumed that mathematical competence can be viewed as a trait. However, studies have yet to examine whether mathematical competence is actually a stable personality characteristic or rather depends on situational factors. Thus, construct validity has not yet been confirmed in this respect. The present study closes this research gap with regard to prospective pre-school teachers when measured across measurement occasions with similar situational characteristics. This study also examines the idea that math anxiety is a relevant negative predictor of mathematical competence. Both research objectives were examined using latent state-trait theory (LST) modeling, which allows for the investigation of occasion-independent and occasion-specific variability over time. The competence and anxiety of n = 354 prospective pre-school teachers were assessed twice across a period of three weeks. Results indicated no occasion-specific effects and moderate negative relations between math anxiety and all mathematical domains. The utility of LST modeling for construct validation and the investigation of complex relationships are discussed.
This article does not exactly replicate the final version published in the journal Zeitschrift für Psychologie. It is not a copy of the original published article and is not suitable for citation