Resilient children are less test anxious and perform better in tests at the end of primary schooling

Dave Putwain, Laura Nicholson, Elizabeth Connors, Kevin Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Resilience has been documented as a key variable in determining successful adaption to adverse circumstances and may also influence successful educational outcomes such as test performance. This paper reports on a study involving 123 pupils from 3 English primary schools, which examined the extent to which test anxiety may mediate the association between resiliency and test performance. Non-verbal ability was measured at the beginning of the school year as a control variable, and test anxiety and resilience via self-report two weeks prior to pupils taking statutory tests in English and maths at the end of primary schooling. Using multiple regression analyses to control for differences in pupils' non-verbal ability, higher resilience was found to predict lower test anxiety and higher test scores. Test anxiety, in turn, was found to predict lower test scores. The lower performance of the less resilient students was mediated by higher test anxiety. These findings indicate how resilience can account for variance in test performance and show how resilience and test anxiety may be related.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-46
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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