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Title: The relationship between fear of failure, academic motivation and student engagement in higher education : a general linear model
Author: Nakhla, G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 8331
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2019
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Failure is an overwhelming experience that is associated with hostile, negative feelings and devastating consequences for many students. However, there is little effort on theorising fear of failure in education or examining its links with academic motivation and engagement. Researchers have called for investigating how fear operates in education and for developing a broader understanding of engagement in higher education. This study addresses this gap in knowledge. It examined the factor structure of two instruments designed to measure motivation and engagement and the influence of fear of failure on motivation and engagement in light of Self Determination Theory. It investigated how fear of failure and motivation clustered within students and if these clusters were differentially associated with engagement. Finally, it examined the modulatory role of extrinsic motivation, as a differentiated construct, in the relationship between fear of failure and engagement. Data were collected using self-reported instruments and analysed using the General Linear Model. Contributions introduced fear of failure as an influential factor of motivation and uncovered its direct and indirect effects on motivation and engagement, thus extending existing literature on fear of failure. Cluster analysis identified distinct profiles of students based on their fear of failure and motivation and established a positive link between fear of failure and extrinsic motivation. This study has extended the motivation literature by shedding new light on the positive modulatory role of extrinsic motivation, as a differentiated construct, in the relationship between fear of failure and engagement. Contributions also included the introduction of a new model that extends the self-determination continuum to acknowledge the existence of different learners and recognise the role of fear of failure among them. Finally, this study provided two modified instruments to measure motivation and engagement, thus contributing to existing measurement tools in United Kingdom higher education. Contributions to practice are implied; there is a need to recognise the significant impact of fear of failure on the dynamics of the learning environment and the importance of prompting self-inflicted behaviours. Comprehending the complexity of the learning environment in light of the complex nature of human behaviours is considered essential to improving teaching and learning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral