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Fear of failure among a sample of Jordanian undergraduate students

Authors Alkhazaleh Z, Mahasneh AM

Received 15 September 2015

Accepted for publication 28 January 2016

Published 31 March 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 53—60

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S96384

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Rebecca Sargisson

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman


Ziad M Alkhazaleh, Ahmad M Mahasneh

Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education Sciences, The Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan

Background: Fear of failure (FoF) is the motivation to avoid failure in achievement tests, and involves cognitive, behavioral, and emotional experiences.
Aims: The primary purpose of this study was to determine the level of FoF among students at The Hashemite University, Jordan. We were also interested in identifying the difference in the level of FoF between the sexes, the academic level, and grade-point average (GPA).
Method: A total of 548 students participated in the study by completing the Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory. Descriptive statistics (mean and SD), independent sample t-test, and one-way analysis of variance were used to analyze the data collected.
Results: The results indicated the overall mean FoF to be –0.34. There were also significant differences between male and female students' level of fear in experiencing shame and embarrassment. Significant differences were found between the four academic level groups in the following fear categories: experiencing shame and embarrassment, important others losing interest, and fear of upsetting important others. The results also showed significant differences between the GPA level groups in the following fear categories: experiencing shame and embarrassment, diminishing of one's self-esteem, having an uncertain future, fear of important others losing interest, and fear of upsetting important others.
Conclusion: FoF may be an important consideration when trying to understand student behavior in the university. Moreover, the level of FoF differs between sexes, academic levels, and GPA levels.

Keywords: fear, fear of failure, Jordanian students

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