Investigating the structural relationship between math anxiety, Gray’s biological model of personality, and test anxiety through assessing the self-efficacy mediating role among junior girl students of Urmia City high schools, Iran

Jaleh Arji, Firozeh Sepehrian-Azar, Esmail Soleimani

DOI: 10.22122/cdj.v0i0.284


BACKGROUND: Test anxiety as a common educational phenomenon is closely related to the academic performance and achievement, and even the future performance of millions of students. Math anxiety is considered as one of the possible contributing factors to test anxiety. The present study aimed to determine the relationship between test anxiety, math anxiety, and Gray’s biological model of personality through assessing the self-efficacy mediating role among girl students studying in junior year in Urmia City high schools, Iran.

METHODS: This was a descriptive-analytical study with structural equation modeling (SEM) as study design. The statistical population included all girl students studying in the junior year of Urmia City high schools in the academic year of 2016; out of which 315 were selected using multistage cluster sampling method. The data were collected using Spielberger's test anxiety inventory (TAI), Chiu and Henry’s mathematics anxiety scale for children (MASC), Sherer et al.’s general self-efficacy scale (SGSES), and behavioral inhibition/activation system (BIS/BAS) scale. Linear structural relations (LISREL) software was used for data analysis.

RESULTS: Math anxiety affected test anxiety both directly (33%) and indirectly (7%), and had a direct effect on self-efficacy (23%). BIS had an indirect effect on test anxiety (8%), while directly influenced self-efficacy (8%) and math anxiety (25%); and BAS had an indirect effect on test anxiety (12%) (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that the performance of students can be improved by increasing their self-efficacy and decreasing their test anxiety level. Accordingly, it is essential that educational authorities, and particularly teachers, do their best to improve students' academic achievement by adopting appropriate strategies and reducing their test anxiety.


Test Anxiety Scale; Mathematics; Self-Efficacy

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