Perspectives and Implications of Anxiety among Pupils

SAMSON BARONGO, Levis Otieno Owiyo


The study had the following objectives: to find out the relationship between anxiety and classroom performance of pupils, to identify the factors leading to social anxiety among pupils,  to examine the differences in the levels of anxiety in science and art subjects, to find out if there is a significant difference in anxiety level of  boys and girls. The research used both descriptive survey and correlation design. The researcher used district list of schools to sample pupils. Using stratified sampling techniques, the district was divided into divisions and zones. From each zone, schools were listed in alphabetical order and numbered from one to last. Pieces of papers numbered one to the last were folded, put in a box, shuffled and then picked. Picked numbers represented schools that were then sampled. A random selection of 507 pupils both males and females in class four in selected eighteen schools of Rachuonyo North District were used. The district has a child population of 6,646 in class four. This class has middle childhood years which the research focused on. Questionnaires were used to identify factors leading to social  anxiety in children, they included; Revised Children Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS) specifically adapted for Kenya conditions, was administered to measure the level of anxiety as brought by social situations. To identify the level of test anxiety of pupils in science and art subjects, Test Anxiety Scale for Children (TASC) was modified to fit Kenyan conditions and administered to the subjects. Both science and art tests were administered to all the subjects. Research instruments were pretested at Pier Got and Otok primary schools to establish their reliability and validity. The two pilot schools did not take part in the actual research. Ambiguities detected in the instruments were corrected according to the advice of the university supervisors before field administration. The results of the study are presented in tables, percentages, and bar graphs. The data were analyzed using SPSS. The results showed that high anxiety facilitated performance in the classroom.(r=0.76) in sciences and(r=0.41) in art. The study also found that there were sex differences in performance with high anxiety girls performing better than boys.It also found that some factors that led to social anxiety among pupils were: poor self-image, fear of darkness, insecurity, fear of accidents, starvation, parental sickness and separation anxiety while parental divorce was insignificant cause of worry. The study concluded by suggesting that a similar study be replicated in urban primary schools to give more accurate generalizations of the findings. The research recommends that school managers should establish the department of guidance and counseling in primary schools to identify children anxiety levels and put early interventions to elevate test anxiety(their ego) which leads to better performance and counteract high social anxiety that hinder classroom performance. It was also recommended that a similar research be carried out with a class seven or in private schools.

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