Effects of Anxiety on Testing Performance

Presenter's Name(s)

Taylor MullenFollow

Abstract

Anxiety is prevalent in childhood and symptoms can impact testing performance, such that moderate levels can facilitate higher performance (demonstrated in college student samples), whereas high levels can be impairing (demonstrated in clinical samples). We examine this performance-anxiety symptoms association for the first time in early childhood. Thirty-three children ages 4-8 were administered IQ subtests and parents reported on their anxiety. We found a significant correlation between child anxiety symptoms and a spatial reasoning performance test, but not other IQ subtests. Anxiety accounted for 35% of the variance of that performance, but only for older children in the sample.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Ellen McGinnis

Secondary Mentor Name

Ryan McGinnis

Graduate Student Mentors

Bryn Loftness

Faculty/Staff Collaborators

XiXi Halvorson-Phelan, Aisling O'Leary, Tori Humiston

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Education and Social Services

Program/Major

Human Development and Family Studies

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

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Effects of Anxiety on Testing Performance

Anxiety is prevalent in childhood and symptoms can impact testing performance, such that moderate levels can facilitate higher performance (demonstrated in college student samples), whereas high levels can be impairing (demonstrated in clinical samples). We examine this performance-anxiety symptoms association for the first time in early childhood. Thirty-three children ages 4-8 were administered IQ subtests and parents reported on their anxiety. We found a significant correlation between child anxiety symptoms and a spatial reasoning performance test, but not other IQ subtests. Anxiety accounted for 35% of the variance of that performance, but only for older children in the sample.