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Cognitive appraisal and state anxiety of 137 high school students were examined immediately before school examination, immediately after the examination and immediately after the announcement of grades (one week later). Situational coping responses were assessed immediately after the examination. Social evaluation trait anxiety was measured two weeks before the examination in an unstressful (neutral) situation. The results show that the social evaluation trait anxiety predicts state anxiety both before and after the school examination and, in addition to this, an important role is played by the perception of threat and uncontrollability in this situation. The use of specific strategies of coping was also determined by both the personality and the perception of the examination situation, wherein the different strategies were determined by different sets of variables. Success in the examination was best predicted by the social evaluation trait anxiety, by problem focused coping and by coping through imagination-rumination (negative relation). In general, the results of the present study provide additional support for the interactional model of stress and anxiety.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 1999

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