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The Effects of Gum Chewing on Math Scores in Adolescents

This study has been completed.
The Children's Nutrition Research Center
Information provided by:
Baylor College of Medicine Identifier:
First received: October 24, 2008
Last updated: November 18, 2008
Last verified: November 2008

Context: Gum chewing has been shown to increase cognitive functioning. With the rise in standardized testing of school-age children and the concurrent attempts to improve their scores, finding simple and inexpensive methods to bolster performance is needed.

Objective: To examine the effects of gum chewing on standardized test scores and class grades in a group of 8th grade math students.

Design: Math classes were randomized to a gum chewing (GC) condition that provided students with gum during class and testing, or a control condition with no gum (NG) provided during class and testing. This study was conducted during the Spring 2008 school semester.

Setting: A charter school in Houston, TX.

Participants: All students enrolled in eighth grade math at the charter school were approached for recruitment in this study. A total of 108 (94%) students participated. Participants were between the ages of 13 and 16.

Main Outcome Measures: The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), the Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III), and math class grades were used to assess any differences in academic performance between the GC and NGC conditions. For purposes of this study, only the math sections of the WJ-III and TAKS, which are both standardized tests, were assessed.

Our primary hypothesis was that adolescents in a gum chewing (GC) condition would have significantly improved standardized test scores and math grades compared to adolescents in a non-gum chewing (NG) control condition.

Condition Intervention
Academic Achievement in Math
Behavioral: Gum Chewing

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Effects of Gum Chewing on Standardized Math Scores in Adolescents

Further study details as provided by Baylor College of Medicine:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Math Grades [ Time Frame: baseline (the beginning of a school semester ) ]
  • Math Scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) [ Time Frame: the beginning of a school semester ]
  • Math Grades [ Time Frame: 14 week (end of the semester) ]
  • Math Scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). [ Time Frame: 14 weeks (end of the semester) ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • State Anxiety Scores on the State Trait Anxiety Index for Children (STAIC). [ Time Frame: the beginning of a school semester and 14 weeks later (the end of a school semester) ]
  • Math Scores on the Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III) [ Time Frame: the beginning of a school semester and 14 weeks later (the end of a school semester) ]
  • Scores on the Math Anxiety Rating Scale for Adolescents (MARS-A) [ Time Frame: the beginning of a school semester and 14 weeks later (the end of a school semester) ]

Enrollment: 108
Study Start Date: February 2008
Study Completion Date: May 2008
Primary Completion Date: May 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Gum Chewing Behavioral: Gum Chewing
No Intervention: Non-gum chewing


Ages Eligible for Study:   13 Years to 16 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Enrollment in eight grade math class

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Parents did not consent to participation
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  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Craig Johnston Identifier: NCT00792116     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: gum and math scores
Study First Received: October 24, 2008
Results First Received: October 24, 2008
Last Updated: November 18, 2008 processed this record on May 25, 2017