Two experiments investigated the development of attitudes toward mathematics and stereotype threat susceptibility in Italian children. Experiment 1 involved 476 elementary school boys and girls and produced evidence of gender differences in self-confidence in one's own mathematical ability and in gender stereotyping of mathematics during elementary school. It also provided initial evidence for a decrement in 10-year-old girls' mathematics performance when stereotype threat was made salient by reminding participants that extraordinary achievement in mathematics is typically a male phenomenon. Experiment 2 (N=271) replicated these findings and expanded them to middle school-age participants. Its results suggest that during middle school, the patterns observed in elementary school consolidate, and the stereotypes begin to produce detrimental effects in girls.
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