THE EFFECTS OF SUBJECT-ORIENTED INSTRUCTIONS AND CONCENTRATION ANXIETY UPON THE PERCEPTUAL-MOTOR PROPERTIES OF DIGIT-SPAN PERFORMANCE
Research designed to investigate anxiety as a multidimensional construct has increased the predictive precision respecting its influence on intellectual functions. This study was undertaken to extend that precision for two of those dimensions. It discloses the relationship of anxiety, where it exists as an enduring feature of the childhood personality, and when it occurs in an instructional situation, to the reception and expression of digit-span performance within and across aural and visual modes. Prior to selecting participants for this study, the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS) was administered to approximately 1,000 children enrolled in Grades Three through Five from 14 urban and suburban Milwaukee Archdiocesan schools. Eighty-seven participants were selected from that administration based upon their endorsement frequencies of the Anxiety-Concentration (Factor III) items from the RCMAS. Participants were grouped as possessing a higher or lower predisposition for distractibility according to those frequencies. This was followed by a random assignment to one of two instructional conditions: examiner-oriented or subject-oriented. Each participant was then given a series of digit-span tests which were administered within and across aural and visual modes for reception and expression. The data analysis of the resulting four cells proceeded by way of a multivariate analysis of covariance. Maturational differences were partialed from the design by treating age as a covariate. Significant correlations were obtained between both dimensions of anxiety and digit-span performance. The digit-span tasks demonstrating the main effects of Anxiety-Concentration and Instructions were aural-written and visual-written, respectively. The effects of the dimensions of anxiety under investigation on reception and expression during digit-span performance were discussed. Implications for the diagnostic use of digit-span tasks and further research were presented.
WALTER GEORGE LEWKE,
"THE EFFECTS OF SUBJECT-ORIENTED INSTRUCTIONS AND CONCENTRATION ANXIETY UPON THE PERCEPTUAL-MOTOR PROPERTIES OF DIGIT-SPAN PERFORMANCE"
(January 1, 1984).
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