The relationship between goal setting and students' experience of academic test anxiety

Flanagan, Michael J., Putwain, David W., and Caltabiano, Marie L. (2015) The relationship between goal setting and students' experience of academic test anxiety. International Journal of School and Educational Psychology, 3 (3). pp. 189-201.

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Previous studies have established that higher test anxiety (TA) is related to achievement goals with an avoidance valence. However, comprehensive empirical examination of relations between the recently proposed 3 × 2 model of achievement goals (self, task, and other-referenced goals along an approach-avoidance dimension) and test anxiety has yet to be undertaken. To address this gap, self-reported data were collected from 286 undergraduate students from England, Australia, and Singapore. Variable-centered regression analyses revealed the novel finding that over and above the influence of a range of covariates, including academic self-efficacy, a greater task-approach goal was associated with lower test-irrelevant thinking and bodily symptoms of TA. Further, a higher other-avoidance goal was related to higher worry and tension. Cluster analyses demonstrated that students tended to endorse multiple goals and, notably, strongly endorsed self and task goals above other-related achievement goals. Educational and clinical implications of these findings are: firstly, one may simultaneously endorse multiple achievement goals in profiles that can be associated with elevated or reduced TA, and secondly, the previously reported effects of mastery-approach goals on TA may have been largely related to the influence of subsumed task-related goals. Results have implications for the management of students with debilitating TA.

Item ID: 40221
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2168-3611
Keywords: test anxiety; achievement goals; multiple achievement goals; variable-centered analysis; person-centered analysis
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2015 03:36
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 100%
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