This study explored factors with the potential to exert facilitative and debilitative influence on undergraduate students’ academic performance. Participants responded to the Schutte Emotional Intelligence Scale, COPE inventory, and Cognitive Test Anxiety Scale-Revised and agreed to have their responses paired with institutional performance data. Analyses tested the iterative and collective influence of the identified variables on four-year GPA after controlling for previous academic performance (first-year GPA). The examination revealed cognitive test anxiety and use of emotion-focused coping strategies were significant predictors of students’ long-term academic outcomes such that increased cognitive test anxiety and increased use of emotion-focused coping strategies were associated with decreases in four-year GPA. The results inform the nature of the influence these student factors have on long-term academic outcomes and highlight the importance of developing a multifaceted intervention model that supports emotion regulation and self-regulation skill development to buffer the impact of cognitive test anxiety on achievement.

Link to full text: Thomas, Cassady, & Heller, 2017 – Learning and Individual Differences