Explaining Discrepant Findings for Performance-approach Goals: the Role of Emotion Regulation During Test-taking
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The study of achievement goals has begun to examine the underlying mechanisms that link goal orientations in order to develop a more accurate model that explains achievement outcomes. Currently, performance-approach goal orientations are inconsistently linked to affective, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. Little research has considered the underlying mechanisms that sustain performance-approach goal orientations, particularly for early adolescents. This study explores the ways in which adolescents modify or regulate the emotional experiences that can interfere with or enhance the attainment of performance-approach goals and achievement. As such, this dissertation examined the role of emotion regulation as a critical process in the pursuit of performance-approach goal orientations that explains how individuals can modify their emotional experiences in order to achieve in a middle school sample (N=328). Students completed self-report measures of their goal orientations and other background variables. After taking a unit math exam, students reported on the emotions that they experienced during the exam. Structural equation modeling was used to examine associations among student goals, emotional experiences, strategies for regulating emotions, and math achievement. Results demonstrated evidence that emotion regulation strategies moderated the relation between performance-approach goals and achievement on a math test. The study found partial support for the PARE model, indicating that performance-approach goals are associated with achievement outcomes when students experience debilitating emotions and utilize emotion regulation strategies.
Education, Social Sciences
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