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Learned Helplessness, Test Anxiety, and Academic Achievement: A Longitudinal Analysis
Frank D. Fincham, Audrey Hokoda and Reliford Sanders, Jr.
Vol. 60, No. 1 (Feb., 1989), pp. 138-145
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131079
Page Count: 8
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The stability of individual differences in test anxiety and learned helplessness over a 2-year period and their relation to concurrent and future school achievement were examined. Several issues regarding the assessment of learned helplessness are also addressed. 82 children were administered measures of test anxiety and helplessness in the third grade and again in the fifth grade. Teachers also provided reports of learned helpless and mastery-oriented behaviors at these 2 grade levels. It was found that: (a) both self-report and teacher-report measures of helplessness were stable over the 2-year period; (b) helplessness in the third grade was related to achievement test scores in the fifth grade; and (c) teacher reports may be a viable means of identifying helplessness. These findings are discussed in terms of cognitive developmental changes in children's understanding of effort and ability, and their implications for the assessment of learned helplessness are outlined.
Child Development © 1989 Society for Research in Child Development