Interactions Among Domain-Specific Expectancies, Values, and Gender: Predictors of Test Anxiety During Early Adolescence

Abstract:
This research focuses on the interaction between students’ domain-specific expectancies and values as a predictor of test anxiety. A subsample of adolescents from the MSALT dataset are used in the current study; students complete measures during the spring of sixth grade and again during the spring of seventh grade. Overall, findings provide support for the predicted expectancy–value interaction. Those students who highly value success in math or English yet expect to do poorly in those subjects report the highest levels of test anxiety. Effect sizes are larger for math than English. Few gender differences emerge, but one prospective analysis reveals that girls who devalue English are more likely to maintain moderate levels of test anxiety across the transition to junior high school. Findings contribute novel information to the literature on test anxiety in young adolescents.
Keywords: test anxiety, expectancy–value theory, adolescents, mathematics, English
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