Academic self-handicapping: The role of self-concept clarity and students' learning strategies

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Self-handicapping is linked to students' personal motivations, classroom goal structure, academic outcomes, global self-esteem and certainty of self-esteem. Academic self-handicapping has yet to be studied with respect to students' consistency in self-description and their description of themselves as learners.


This study examined students' self-esteem and self-concept clarity as well as their tendencies to employ deep- or surface-learning approaches and self-regulate while learning in relation to their self-handicapping tendencies and exam performance.


Participants were 161 male and female Canadian, first-year university students.


Participants completed a series of questionnaires that measured their self-esteem, self-concept clarity, approaches to learning, self-regulation and reflections on performance prior to and following their exam.


Self-handicapping was negatively correlated with self-concept clarity, deep learning, self-regulated learning and exam grades, and positively correlated with surface learning and test anxiety. Regression analyses showed that self-concept clarity, self-regulation, surface-learning and test anxiety scores predicted self-handicapping scores. Self-concept clarity, test anxiety scores, academic self-efficacy and self-regulation were predictors of mid-term exam grades.


This study showed that students' self-concept clarity and learning strategies are related to their tendencies to self-handicap and their exam performance. The role of students' ways of learning and their self-concept clarity in self-handicapping and academic performance was explored.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles