Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name



Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Cheryl L. Somers


The purpose of this study was to examine intrapersonal and contextual variables in relation to test anxiety among adolescents. Participants (n=298) were students in grades seven and eight from a middle school in a suburb in southeastern Michigan. Academic self-concept was found to fully mediate the relation between academic performance (as measured by GPA) and test anxiety. The intrapersonal variables of perceived threat of tests, effortful control, and academic self-concept significantly predicted test anxiety. The contextual variables were unrealistic parental expectations and school climate. Unrealistic parental expectations was a predictor of test anxiety in a regression model including only those two contextual variables, but was no longer a significant predictor when all study variables were included. School climate was not found to significantly predict test anxiety, nor did it serve the hypothesized role of moderating the relation of effortful control and test anxiety. The study provides support for the importance of intrapersonal variables in predicting test anxiety among adolescents.