Test Anxiety and the Hierarchical Model of Approach and Avoidance Achievement Motivation

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Abstract

This research was designed to incorporate the test anxiety (TA) construct into the hierarchical model of approach and avoidance achievement motivation. Hypotheses regarding state and trait TA were tested in 2 studies, and the results provided strong support for the predictions. State TA (specifically, worry) was documented as a mediator of the negative relationship between performance-avoidance goals and exam performance. The positive relationship between performance-approach goals and exam performance was shown to be independent of TA processes. A series of analyses documented the conceptual and functional convergence of trait TA and fear of failure (FOF), and further validation of the proposed integration was obtained by testing trait TA/FOF and state TA together in the same model. Mastery goals were positively and performance-avoidance goals negatively related to long-term retention.

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