2013 Volume 21 Issue 3 Pages 254-266
Academic contingency of self-worth (ACSW) refers to the degree to which one's sense of self-worth is based on academic achievement. Past research on this subject primarily focused on the detrimental effects of ACSW on mental health and achievement. The present study examined both positive and negative effects of ACSW on motivation and achievement during one academic semester by conducting three successive questionnaire surveys. The participants were 154 junior high school students. The results show that when high ACSW students received poorer grades than their expectations, their state self-esteem decreased significantly, which evoked negative emotions. Then, their negative emotions were positively related to their final exam grades. However, when high ACSW students received better grades than their expectations, their state self-esteem increased, which evoked positive emotions. Subsequently, their positive emotions were positively related to their final exam grades.