EFFECTS OF SYSTEMATIC DESENSITIZATION IN THE MANAGEMENT OF TEST-ANXIETY AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL ADOLESCENTS

Authour: ORDUA, VICTOR NDUBUISI (Ph.D)
Abstract

Test anxiety has an impact on students either negative or positive and it manifests in three
component parts, namely the cognitive, emotional and psychological symptoms and doesnot
occur separately but simultaneously during the test anxiety crisis. This study investigatedthe
effect of systematic sensitization in the management of test anxiety among secondary school
adolescents. Two research questions were posed and two hypotheses formulated to guide the
study. The study is experimental designs and employed a 2×2 factional design pre test-post test
experimental control group. The instrument used for the selection of test anxious students was
Sarason test-anxiety scale (STAS). The students numbering 75 were selected from two
secondary schools who earned very high scoresin the scale constituted the sample forthe study
and were randomly assigned to the treatment group and control group. The data relating to the
research questions were analyzed using mean scores while the data relating to the hypotheses
were analyzed using the analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA). It was found out that systematic
desensitization were effective in the management of test-anxiety. The study further revealed
that the difference on effectiveness of systematic desensitization in the management of test
anxiety ofmale and female adolescentsis notsignificant.Based on the findings ofthe study, the
implications ofthe findings and recommendation were highlighted.
Keywords: Systematic desensitization, test anxiety, management, evaluative task.
Introduction
Test anxiety has been described as a negative emotional reaction expressed by some students
during examination or when confronted with evaluative task. Such students usually perceived
the evaluative task as threatening, generalized feeling of fear over meeting the academic
expectation, inability to understand what is being taught in the class, uncertainties associated
with success (Ordua, 2011). According to Ergene (2003) defined test anxiety as a scientific
construct, referring to the set of phenomenological, physiological and behavioural responses
that accompany concern about possible negative consequences or failure at an examination or
at a similar evaluative situation.
Test anxiety has been considered to include physiological over-arousal, often referred
to as “emotionality”, along with dread worry and expectations of terrible failure (Ergene,
2003).
Bufka Barlors and David (2009) see rest anxiety as an emotional state in which people
feel uneasy, apprehensive or fearful. Spielberger (2005) explained test anxiety as an unpleasant
state characterized by feelings of tension and apprehension, worrisome through and activation
of automatic nervous system, when an individual faces an evaluative achievement demanding
situation. Based on this, there is the need for help and treatment of students with text anxiety.
This will enable the students perform at the best of their abilities.Although, there are a number
of research works on text anxiety in Nigeria for instance, Osiki and Busari (2006) have used
self-statements monitoring techniques in reducing test anxiety among adolescent
underachievers.
It has become important that the researcher use systematic desensitization in the…


About the Authour: Ordua, Victor Ndubuisi (Ph.D), Department of Educational Psychology, Guidance and Counselling, School of
Education, Federal College ofEducation (Technical), Omoku

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