Achievement emotions in elementary, middle, and high school

How do students feel about specific contexts in terms of settings and subject-domains?

Daniela Raccanello*, Margherita Brondino, Bianca De Bernardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)


The present work investigates students' representation of achievement emotions, focusing in context-specific situations in terms of settings and subject-domains, as a function of grade level. We involved 527 fourth-, seventh-, and eleventh-graders, who evaluated ten discrete emotions through questionnaires, with reference to verbal language and mathematics, and different settings (class, homework, tests). Confirmatory multitrait-multimethod analyses indicated higher salience of subject-domains rather than settings for all the emotions; however, complexity of reality was best explained when also settings were accounted for. Analyses of variance revealed higher intensity of positive emotions for younger students, and the opposite pattern for older students; significant differences for most of the emotions based on the evaluative nature of settings, moderated by class levels; more intense positive emotions for mathematics and more intense negative emotions for Italian. Results are discussed considering their theoretical and applied relevance, corroborating previous literature on domain-specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-484
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Achievement emotions
  • Settings
  • Students
  • Subject-domains

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