Examining the Conceptual Overlap between Social, Performance, and Test Anxiety among Chinese Adolescents
University of Kansas
Psychology & Research in Education
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This study examined the conceptual overlap between social, performance, and test anxiety among 859 Chinese students, ages 12 to 19 years. Factor analyses were performed on the Chinese version of the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale-Second Edition (RCMAS-2- C) Performance Anxiety cluster and Social Anxiety scale items, as well as the Chinese version of the Test Anxiety Measure for Adolescents (TAMA-C) items. Results supported a three-factor structure (i.e. public speaking anxiety, performance anxiety-general, and social anxiety) when the RCMAS-2-C Performance Anxiety cluster and Social anxiety scale items were analyzed together. When each of the TAMA-C scale items were added to the public speaking, performance anxiety-general, and social anxiety items and factor analyzed in separate analyses, four-factor models were supported with test anxiety as a separate factor in each one of the models. Internal consistency reliability for the social, performance, public speaking, and test anxiety factor scores were at or above acceptable levels. Latent profile analysis of these different types of anxiety suggested nine latent classes. Classes with similar levels of social/performance/public speaking anxiety but different levels of test anxiety were identified, supporting the conceptual distinctiveness between social and test anxiety. Social and performance anxiety were at similar levels (i.e. low-low, high-high, medium-high) in the majority of the classes. However, one class (16% of the population) with low social anxiety but high levels of performance anxiety was found. Overall, the conceptualization of performance anxiety as a subtype of social anxiety was supported. Females were found to have a higher likelihood of being in the higher test anxiety classes as well as the classes with medium to high (but not the highest) social and performance anxiety. Public speaking anxiety may be a unique construct for Chinese students. Practical implications and limitations of the current study as well as future research directions are discussed.
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