This study examined the effects of trait test anxiety versus state anxiety on children's working memory task performance. Participants (N = 113; 11-year-olds) completed a mental arithmetic and memory recall task under high and low situational stress conditions. State anxiety was assessed using both subjective (i.e., self-reports) and physiological (i.e., cortisol) measures. Measures of task accuracy and accuracy/response time served as indicators of performance effectiveness and processing efficiency. The growth modelling approach was used to examine patterns of change in cortisol levels across time. The key finding of this study is that trait test anxiety has a direct and detrimental effect on working memory task performance. This effect was not mediated by state anxiety, regardless of whether the role of trait test anxiety was examined in conjunction with subjective or physiological state anxiety. Our findings provide further evidence in support of the attentional control theory. Copyright © 2016 Textrum.
CitationNg, E. L., & Lee, K. (2016). Test anxiety and children's working memory task performance: Does trait or state anxiety matter more? Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 7(3), 374-390. doi: 10.5127/jep.054115
- Attentional control theory
- Processing efficiency theory
- Dual-task performance
- Academic achievement