M.S. Torregrosa1, B. Delgado2, M.C. Martínez-Monteagudo1, C.J. Inglés1, J.M. García-Fernández2

1Miguel Hernández University (SPAIN)
2University of Alicante (SPAIN)
The purpose of this study was to analyse the influence of social anxiety and aggressive behavior on learning strategies in a sample of Spanish students of Compulsory Secondary Education. The Learning and Studies Skills Inventory High School Version, (LASSI-HS; Weinstein and Palmer, 1990), the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory (SPAI; Turner, Beidel, Dancu and Stanley, 1989) and the Teenage Inventory of Social Skills (TISS; Inderbitzen and Foster, 1992) were administered to a sample of 2022 Spanish students (1033 boys and 989 girls) in Grades 7 (n = 576), 8 (n = 505), 9 (n = 502) and 10 (n = 439). Age ranged from 12 to 16 (M = 13.81; SD = 1.35).
The SPAI is a self-report inventory designed to assess cognitive, physiological, and behavioral symptoms of social anxiety and agoraphobia, with two subscales. The Social Phobia subscale contains 32 items, 17 of which measure social anxiety in four contexts: in the presence of strangers, authority figures, people of the opposite sex, and people in general. In the present study we only used the Social Phobia subscale.
The LASSI-HS is a self-report instrument designed to assess strategies and skills developed by high school students. It consists of 10 subscales: Attitude, Motivation, Time Management, Anxiety, Concentration, Information Processing Scale, Selecting Main Ideas, Study Aids Scale, Self-Testing Scale and Test Strategies, through which students assess their own manner of studying. Each subscale contains 5 to 8 items.
The TISS is a self-report instrument designed to assess aggressive and prosocial behaviors that adolescents show in their relationships with peers. It is grouped into two scales, Aggressive Behavior and Prosocial Behavior. In the present study we only used the Aggressive Behavior subscale.
Logistic regression analyses were used to asses the influence of social anxiety and aggressive behavior on learning strategies, following the stepwise regression procedure based on Wald statistic.
Results indicated that students with social anxiety were less likely to have a positive attitude toward school and learning, less likely to be motivated and oriented to school work, less likely to correctly manage their study time, less likely to concentrate during school work, less inclined to use the strategy of selecting main ideas and less likely to use effective evaluation strategies. Also, students with social anxiety were more likely to present high levels of anxiety and worry at school.
Moreover, students with high aggressive behavior were more likely to show a negative attitude to education and school; be less motivated in school tasks; have an inefficient management of their time; have problems in focusing and keeping their attention in school tasks; show more difficulties in selecting important information for their study; and study without considering the kind of exam they have to face.
As shown in these results, aggressive behaviour and social anxiety appeared as significant predictors of non-adequate learning strategies. Those results reveal that interventions focused on aggression and social anxiety prevention could have a positive effect not only in adolescents’ interpersonal behaviour but also in the strategies those adolescents use to learn.