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Optimizing emotion regulation : Zooming in on the antecedents and effects of anxiety components

Optimizing emotion regulation : Zooming in on the antecedents and effects of anxiety components

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ROOS, Anna-Lena, Thomas GOETZ, Maike KRANNICH, Katarzyna GOGOL, Amanda JARRELL, 2018. Optimizing emotion regulation : Zooming in on the antecedents and effects of anxiety components. AERA 2018 Annual Meeting. New York, NY, Apr 13, 2018 - Apr 17, 2018. In: Paper presented at AERA 2018 Annual Meeting

Roos, Anna-Lena Roos, Anna-Lena Krannich, Maike Anxiety is widespread and detrimental in the academic context. Therefore, it is important to develop effective strategies to regulate this emotion. Previous research on anxiety regulation has, with the exception of differentiating worry and emotionality, largely neglected the potentially different antecedents and effects of different components of anxiety (i.e., affective, motivational, cognitive, and physiological components) although some findings have indicated that there might be differences (e.g., Liebert & Morris, 1967; Pekrun et al., 2011; Zeidner, 2014). This study aims to address this gap by investigating the antecedents and effects of each component of anxiety and therefore identify which components should primarily be addressed when regulating anxiety. Regarding the antecedents, we focused on subjective control - a central cognitive appraisal (e.g., Pekrun, 2006; Scherer, 2001). Concerning the effects, we concentrated on student’s performance on math exams (Hembree, 1990). We hypothesized that anxiety will mediate the relationship between control and performance and that the anxiety components will vary in the strength of their mediating effects.<br />The sample consisted of N = 129 8th graders (Mage = 13.81, SD = .59, 42% female) from the top track of the German school system. Data was collected during regular mathematics classes using questionnaires. Control was assessed with a 4-item scale from the Mathematics Attitudes Questionnaire (MAQ adapted for exams; Lipnevich et al., 2011). The anxiety components were assessed using a 12-item scale (i.e., 3 items for each component) from the Achievement Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ; Pekrun et al., 2011). Student’s scores from their most recent math exam served as the performance measure.<br />Mediation analyses revealed a significant positive direct effect of control on performance (b = .547, SE = .134, p < .001). The cognitive and physiological anxiety components significantly mediated this relationship. Specifically, control had negative effects on the cognitive component which in turn had negative effects on performance (i.e. positive indirect effect; b = .296, SE = .105, p < .001). Control also had negative effects on the physiological component which had positive effects on performance (i.e. negative indirect effect; b = -.139, SE = .087, p < .01).<br />As expected, the results of the study suggest that the anxiety components indeed differ with regard to their antecedents and effects – and even the direction of the effects. The cognitive component appears to be central in this context as for this component we found the strongest mediating effect on performance, which is consistent with information processing models of anxiety (e.g., Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1992). The direction of the mediating effect of the physiological component suggests that physiological arousal might positively impact performance, which is consistent with the limited findings on anxiety and performance in athletes (e.g., Burton, 1988). These findings suggest that for anxiety regulation, it is important to distinguish between the components of anxiety and apply strategies that can especially target the cognitive component of anxiety (e.g., cognitive reappraisal strategies that increase student’s perceptions of control and therefore decrease the cognitive component of anxiety). Goetz, Thomas 2018-07-24T08:17:43Z Gogol, Katarzyna Jarrell, Amanda Jarrell, Amanda Goetz, Thomas Krannich, Maike eng 2018-07-24T08:17:43Z 2018 Optimizing emotion regulation : Zooming in on the antecedents and effects of anxiety components Gogol, Katarzyna

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