Do you ask for help? Exploring the relations between achievement goal orientations and academic adaptive/nonadaptive help-seeking/help-avoidance behaviors

Shu-Ling Peng, Pei Chi Wang, Hung Tai Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The topic of academic help-seeking behavior has been extensively researched in past studies. Nevertheless, few studies explore both the help-seeking behaviors and its counterpart, namely, help-avoidance simultaneously. This study, accordingly, aims to achieve the following objectives: (a) developing the Academic Help-Seeking/Help-Avoidance Behaviors Scale and testing its validity and reliability; (b) clarifying the attribute of five help-seeking/help-avoidance behaviors as adaptive or nonadaptive; (c) investigating the relations between the achievement goal orientations and five help-seeking/help-avoidance behaviors. 1376 junior high school students were recruited in the study. Structure equation modeling was used for data analysis. The results showed that: (a) the Academic Help-Seeking/Help-Avoidance Behaviors Scale containing instrumental help-seeking, executive help-seeking, independent help-avoidance, covert help-avoidance, and complete help-avoidance had a good validity and reliability, indicating that the scale was suitable for examining the academic help-seeking/help-avoidance behaviors adopted by students in math; (b) instrumental help-seeking and independent help-avoidance could be regarded as adaptive behaviors, while executive help-seeking, covert help-avoidance, and complete help-avoidance were considered nonadaptive behaviors; (c) academic help-seeking/help-avoidance could be predicted by achievement goal orientation. Most specifically, approach-mastery goal could promote the adoption of adaptive help-seeking/help-avoidance behaviors but inhibit students’ tendency toward nonadaptive help-seeking/help-avoidance behaviors. The predictive effect of avoidance-performance goal on academic help-seeking/help-avoidance displayed the opposite result to that by mastery-approach goal. Based on these findings, pedagogical implications were discussed to offer reference for teaching and counseling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-293
Number of pages27
JournalBulletin of Educational Psychology
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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