Clusters of fear appeal appraisals and their relations with student engagement and disaffection

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Abstract

A nascent body of work has examined how fear appeals are used in an instructional context prior to high-stakes examinations. In this study, a person-centred approach was employed to investigate how the appraisal of fear appeals as a threat and as a challenge combine within individuals, and how these combinations relate to student engagement and disaffection. Self-report data were collected from 2,015 students in their final two years of secondary education at the beginning of the year (Time 1) and four months later (Time 2). Students grouped into two clusters at Time 1 and four clusters at Time 2. At Time 1, students reporting moderate threat and high challenge scored higher than those reporting low threat and moderate challenge on behavioural engagement, emotional engagement and emotional disaffection, and lower on behavioural disaffection. At Time 2, according to relations with student engagement and disaffection, the most adaptive cluster comprised those reporting low threat and high challenge and the least adaptive cluster represented those with moderate levels of both threat and challenge. A high challenge appraisal was therefore essential for greater engagement and lower disaffection, even when combined with a moderate threat appraisal. It is crucial that teachers are made aware of the importance of how students appraise fear appeals.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2016
EventBritish Psychological Society (BPS) Education Section Conference - Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Oct 201629 Oct 2016

Conference

ConferenceBritish Psychological Society (BPS) Education Section Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityBirmingham
Period28/10/1629/10/16

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