THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG STRESS, ACADEMIC COPING, AND ACADEMIC OUTCOMES: A MODERATED MEDIATION MODEL
Perlow, Benjamin Joseph
O'Neal, Colleen R
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Researchers have attempted to ascertain how to improve student academic success. In this short-term longitudinal dissertation study, I used archival data and the constructs of self-determination theory and the cognitive appraisal model, to investigate the relationships among perceived stress, academic coping, and academic outcomes. The goal of this dissertation was to determine whether T2 problem-solving academic coping strategies mediated the relationship between student T1 perceived stress and T3 student academic outcomes and if T1 perceived stress served as a moderator between the T2 academic coping strategies and the T3 academic outcomes. I adapted and augmented an academic coping measure and determined the reliability and validity of the measure in a sample of 146 students in 3rd through 5th grade (68% Latino/Hispanic; 97% DLL students). I conducted an exploratory factor analysis to test if the modified items loaded onto two expected factors. I subsequently conducted correlation, mediation, moderation, and moderated mediation analyses to test the predictive validity of the modified scale and the moderated mediation model. Results indicated that, contrary to my expectations, the modified academic coping measure loaded onto one factor. As expected, the T1 academic coping measure had a significant correlation with T3 student-reported academic engagement. However, it was not significantly correlated to T3 teacher-reported academic engagement or T3 literacy achievement. Mediation analyses suggested that T2 academic coping did not mediate the relationship between T1 perceived stress and T3 academic outcomes when controlling for demographics and T1 academic-outcome variables; however, mediation was significant with the student-reported engagement outcome and without the T1 academic outcome control. T1 perceived stress did not significantly moderate the relationship between T2 academic coping and T3 academic outcomes, in the context of the mediation model. Future researchers may want to conduct similar studies on a larger more diverse sample of participants.