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Front Psychol. 2015 Oct 31;6:1675. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01675. eCollection 2015.

Socio-motivational moderators-two sides of the same coin? Testing the potential buffering role of socio-motivational relationships on achievement drive and test anxiety among German and Canadian secondary school students.

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1
Department of Education and Psychology, Free University of Berlin , Berlin, Germany.
2
Department of Educational Science, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald , Greifswald, Germany.

Abstract

The current cross-national study investigates the potential buffering role of socio-motivational relationships for the association of achievement drive (AD) and test anxiety (TX) in secondary school students from Canada and Germany. One thousand and eighty-eight students (54% girls, M age = 13.71, SD = 0.53, age span 12-15 years) from the state of Brandenburg and 389 students from Quebéc (55.9% girls, M age = 13.43, SD = 0.82, age span 12-16 years) were asked about their socio-motivational relationships with their teachers and peers, their drive for achievement, and TX. Multigroup latent moderated structural equations were conducted to test for the moderator role of socio-motivational relationships that would buffer feelings of TX related to the drive for achievement. The analyses revealed the two-sided role socio-motivational relationships can have for students with different levels of AD; intensifying or mitigating feelings of TX. Thereby, the results of this study extend the buffering hypothesis by Cohen and Wills (1985). Cross-national differences between Canada and Germany were found concerning the studied moderators on the association of AD and TX: While for German students teacher-student relationships acted as moderator, for Canadian students student-student relationships and teachers acting as positive motivators displayed a moderator role.

KEYWORDS:

German and Canadian secondary school students; achievement drive; multigroup latent moderated structural equations; socio-motivational relationships; test anxiety

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