Personal bests or beating the rest?

The influence of achievement goal orientations and perceived school goal structures on symptoms of mental health in an Australian Year 12 sample

Justine Stephens-Reicher

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

An Achievement Goal Theory perspective was applied to the issue of self-reported school-related problems, stress and mental health difficulties in Australian high-school students. Student achievement goal orientations (AGOs) (performance-approach, performance-avoidance, mastery-approach and work-avoidance), perceived school mastery and performance goal structures; and interaction effects, were entered into a regression model to predict symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress; and positive and negative affect. Using Facebook recruitment, 402 Victorian Year 12 students completed a self-report questionnaire. Results suggest the function of student AGOs cannot be accurately understood without the inclusion of perceived school goal structures. Overall, mastery-approach, performance-approach and work-avoidance AGOs were associated with fewer mental health symptoms and better affect. A perceived school mastery goal structure was beneficial to all student outcomes, whereas the perceived school performance goal structure had detrimental effects. Multiple interaction effects between student AGOs and perceived school goal structure were evident. The purpose students attribute to learning and their perception of school goal structure influence their mental health and affect. The implications for Australian school policy and practice are discussed.

Keywords: achievement goal orientation, perceived school goal structure, work-avoidance, mental health, Australia, high school students,
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Applied Science
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Frewen, Amie, Principal Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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mental health
school
student
performance
school policy
facebook
interaction
inclusion
anxiety
regression
questionnaire
learning

Cite this

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title = "Personal bests or beating the rest?: The influence of achievement goal orientations and perceived school goal structures on symptoms of mental health in an Australian Year 12 sample",
abstract = "An Achievement Goal Theory perspective was applied to the issue of self-reported school-related problems, stress and mental health difficulties in Australian high-school students. Student achievement goal orientations (AGOs) (performance-approach, performance-avoidance, mastery-approach and work-avoidance), perceived school mastery and performance goal structures; and interaction effects, were entered into a regression model to predict symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress; and positive and negative affect. Using Facebook recruitment, 402 Victorian Year 12 students completed a self-report questionnaire. Results suggest the function of student AGOs cannot be accurately understood without the inclusion of perceived school goal structures. Overall, mastery-approach, performance-approach and work-avoidance AGOs were associated with fewer mental health symptoms and better affect. A perceived school mastery goal structure was beneficial to all student outcomes, whereas the perceived school performance goal structure had detrimental effects. Multiple interaction effects between student AGOs and perceived school goal structure were evident. The purpose students attribute to learning and their perception of school goal structure influence their mental health and affect. The implications for Australian school policy and practice are discussed.Keywords: achievement goal orientation, perceived school goal structure, work-avoidance, mental health, Australia, high school students,",
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N2 - An Achievement Goal Theory perspective was applied to the issue of self-reported school-related problems, stress and mental health difficulties in Australian high-school students. Student achievement goal orientations (AGOs) (performance-approach, performance-avoidance, mastery-approach and work-avoidance), perceived school mastery and performance goal structures; and interaction effects, were entered into a regression model to predict symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress; and positive and negative affect. Using Facebook recruitment, 402 Victorian Year 12 students completed a self-report questionnaire. Results suggest the function of student AGOs cannot be accurately understood without the inclusion of perceived school goal structures. Overall, mastery-approach, performance-approach and work-avoidance AGOs were associated with fewer mental health symptoms and better affect. A perceived school mastery goal structure was beneficial to all student outcomes, whereas the perceived school performance goal structure had detrimental effects. Multiple interaction effects between student AGOs and perceived school goal structure were evident. The purpose students attribute to learning and their perception of school goal structure influence their mental health and affect. The implications for Australian school policy and practice are discussed.Keywords: achievement goal orientation, perceived school goal structure, work-avoidance, mental health, Australia, high school students,

AB - An Achievement Goal Theory perspective was applied to the issue of self-reported school-related problems, stress and mental health difficulties in Australian high-school students. Student achievement goal orientations (AGOs) (performance-approach, performance-avoidance, mastery-approach and work-avoidance), perceived school mastery and performance goal structures; and interaction effects, were entered into a regression model to predict symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress; and positive and negative affect. Using Facebook recruitment, 402 Victorian Year 12 students completed a self-report questionnaire. Results suggest the function of student AGOs cannot be accurately understood without the inclusion of perceived school goal structures. Overall, mastery-approach, performance-approach and work-avoidance AGOs were associated with fewer mental health symptoms and better affect. A perceived school mastery goal structure was beneficial to all student outcomes, whereas the perceived school performance goal structure had detrimental effects. Multiple interaction effects between student AGOs and perceived school goal structure were evident. The purpose students attribute to learning and their perception of school goal structure influence their mental health and affect. The implications for Australian school policy and practice are discussed.Keywords: achievement goal orientation, perceived school goal structure, work-avoidance, mental health, Australia, high school students,

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