The regulation of affect, anxiety, and stressful arousal from adopting mastery-avoidance goal orientations
Article first published online: 25 OCT 2007
Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Stress and Health
Volume 24, Issue 1, pages 55–69, February 2008
How to Cite
Sideridis, G. D. (2008), The regulation of affect, anxiety, and stressful arousal from adopting mastery-avoidance goal orientations. Stress and Health, 24: 55–69. doi: 10.1002/smi.1160
- Issue published online: 3 FEB 2008
- Article first published online: 25 OCT 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 MAY 2007
- Manuscript Received: 6 NOV 2006
- 2 × 2 goal framework;
- stress response
Achievement goal theory has proved to be very influential in our understanding of student's regulation of academic and non-academic behaviours. Recently, Elliot and McGregor proposed mastery-avoidance goals in the trichotomous model of achievement motivation. The purpose of the present studies was to examine the regulation of mastery-avoidance goals with regard to persistence, affect and arousal. In Study 1, 96 college students' regulation of their own behaviour was assessed during a stressful exam. Results showed that mastery-avoidance goals were associated with significantly elevated cognitive anxiety, negative affect and fear of failure. Study 2 attempted to replicate and extend the findings of Study 1 by examining the regulation of affect and arousal using self-report and physiological assessments, during stressful in-class presentations (n = 70). Results indicated that negative affect was significantly predicted by adoption of mastery-avoidance goals. Modelling the effects using Multilevel Random Coefficient Modelling showed that students espousing mastery-avoidance goals were significantly more aroused, compared to students who adopted any other type of goal orientation, at both the intercept level and the slope (linear or quadratic). It is concluded that mastery-avoidance goals have deleterious effects on student's regulation of their emotional experience in stressful achievement situations and should be avoided by all means. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.