Interamerican Journal of Psychology
version ISSN 0034-9690
PIZANO, Virginia; HERNANDEZ-POZO, María del Rocío and CEREZO, Sandra. Physiological reactivity, distress and copying style and performance in a high school exam. Interam. j. psychol. [online]. 2009, vol.43, n.3, pp. 507-517. ISSN 0034-9690.
The purpose of this study was to identify the level of distress, coping style, blood pressure and academic performance in high school teenagers and compare measurements for two conditions: baseline (a) and inmediatly previous to taking an English language test (b). Seventy-six students participated, thirty-four men and forty-two women. Two self-report measures were used, a Mexican adaptation of the Coping Style questionnaire and a modified version of a Distress Scale. Blood pressure and pulse were monitored by means of a digital manometer. Results showed no significant differences in distress, neither coping style for the two conditions. Seeking social support dropped immediately before taking the exam, also blood pressure increased for that condition. Results corroborated previous findings since better academic performance in English as a foreign language exam was related to low levels of nervousness and anxiety. Monitoring physiological reactivity periodically in adolescents might prove useful in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Keywords : Distress; Coping; Blood pressure; Teenagers; English as foreign language test.