Coping with examinations: Exploring relationships between students' coping strategies, implicit theories of ability, and perceived control

Abstract : Background: Relatively little is known about the contribution of students' beliefs regarding the nature of academic ability (i.e. their implicit theories) on strategies used to deal with examinations. Aims: This study applied Dweck's socio-cognitive model of achievement motivation to better understand how students cope with examinations. It was expected that students' implicit theories of academic ability would be related to their use of particular coping strategies to deal with exam-related stress. Additionally, it was predicted that perceived control over exams acts as a mediator between implicit theories of ability and coping. Sample: Four hundred and ten undergraduate students (263 males, 147 females), aged from 17 to 26 years old (M = 19.73, SD = 1.46) were volunteers for the present study. Methods: Students completed measures of coping, implicit theories of academic ability, and perception of control over academic examinations during regular classes in the first term of the university year. Results: Multiple regression analyses revealed that incremental beliefs of ability significantly and positively predicted active coping, planning, venting of emotions, seeking social support for emotional and instrumental reasons, whereas entity beliefs positively predicted behavioural disengagement and negatively predicted active coping and acceptance. In addition, analyses revealed that entity beliefs of ability were related to coping strategies through students' perception of control over academic examinations. Conclusions: These results confirm that exam-related coping varies as a function of students' beliefs about the nature of academic ability and their perceptions of control when approaching examinations.
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British Journal of Educational Psychology, Wiley, 2009, 79 (3), pp.515-528. 〈10.1348/978185409X402580〉
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Julie Doron, Yannick Stephan, Julie Boiché, Christine Le Scanff. Coping with examinations: Exploring relationships between students' coping strategies, implicit theories of ability, and perceived control. British Journal of Educational Psychology, Wiley, 2009, 79 (3), pp.515-528. 〈10.1348/978185409X402580〉. 〈hal-01580237v2〉

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