Relationships between self-downing beliefs and math performance in Greek adolescent students: A predictive study based on Rational-Emotive Behavior Education (REBE) as theoretical perspective

Alexandra Katsiki, Alexander Minnaert, Demitris Katsikis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

There is ample evidence from both educational practice and research that math performance is often associated with increased levels of test anxiety, stress and discomfort and that students’ cognitions account for this performance. Rational-Emotive Behavior Education (REBE), derived from Ellis’s Rational-EmotiveBehavior Theory (REBT), supports that it is mainly students’ cognitions in the form of core (ir) rational beliefs that determine their performance and overallschool achievement. However, given the binary nature of the REBT model, it is less empirically known what is the type of relationship (linear or non-linear)between cognitions, such as core (ir) rational beliefs, and specific aspects of school performance such as mathematics. Hence, this study investigates the type of relationships between students’ self-downing beliefs (a type of students’ core irrational beliefs according to REBT) and academic math performance in students of secondary education. Greek adolescent students (Ν=116) from all grades of middle school and high school completed a self-downing subscale taken from the Child and Adolescent Scale of Irrationality; students’ scores from mathematical tests were collected directly from school records. A weak, though significant linear correlation was found between self-downing beliefs and academic math performance (r=-.21; p<.05), indicating 4.4% of common variance. Polynomial regression analysis revealed, however, that students’ self-downing beliefs significantly predicted academic math performance by means of a curvilinear relationship (R2=.10): the quadratic and cubic trend gave rise to 10% of the variance explained in math performance. Overall, these results are in line with the binary model of REBE according to which not only students’ lower self-downing beliefs, but also higher self-acceptance beliefs, may have a substantial impact on their math performance. The importance of the non-linear relationship found is discussed on the crucial importance of REBE as a form of social-emotional learning method that promotes better math performance through modification of problematic self-referent cognitions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1132
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Family Medicine and Community Health
Volume4
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 20-Sep-2017

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