Examination stress and coping from a cognitive-process perspective Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4b29b931v

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  • This study was designed to determine whether or not students' emotions and coping would change during stages of an examination. If changes in emotions and coping were recorded at different phases of an examination, then these findings would substantiate the position that stress and coping are processes. In addition, the research attempted to determine whether or not mediating factors would influence students' reactions to the examination encounter. The mediating factors that were examined were personality traits, cognitive appraisals, stress emotions, and coping strategies. One hundred-seventeen student volunteers from four sections of college mathematic classes participated in this study. They were asked to complete four sets of questionnaires on their reactions to tests. The instruments used for measuring personality traits were The Reactions to Tests Scale (Test Anxiety), the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, and the Test Efficacy Scale. Emotions were assessed with the Stress Emotions Scale; cognitive appraisal was measured by The Stakes and Difficulty of the Examination Scale; and coping was assessed by the Ways of Coping Checklist. Eleven hypotheses were tested in this study. The statistical procedure for the first two hypotheses was the T test. In addition, a Pearson Product-Moment Correlation was computed to test for significant relationships for the remaining nine hypotheses. Regressions were used for variables which showed significant correlations with the personality trait measures in order to explain variations in emotions. Seven of the null hypotheses were rejected. The following conclusions we~e drawn from the study: 1. In some respects, stress and coping can be defined as a process. 2. The mediating factors, appraisal and coping, did influence the students' emotional reactions to the examination. 3. The mediating factor, personality traits, did influence the students' emotional and behavioral reactions to the examination. In view of the findings, it is recommended that: 1. Further research be conducted on examination stress in order to convincingly substantiate that stress and coping are processes. 2. Counselors and educators in higher education develop testing procedures that facilitate students' test-taking ability. 3. Counseling services in higher education be designed to enhance the performance and comfort level of highly test-anxious students.
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