A meta‐analysis of the effect of values affirmation on academic achievement

Wu, Z., Spreckelsen, T. F. and Cohen, G. L. (2021) A meta‐analysis of the effect of values affirmation on academic achievement. Journal of Social Issues, 77(3), pp. 702-750. (doi: 10.1111/josi.12415)

[img] Text
243676.pdf - Accepted Version



This meta-analysis assessed the impact of values affirmation on the academic achievement of students under social identity threats in actual classrooms. After a systematic search yielded 58 relevant studies, multilevel analyses identified an overall affirmation effect for identity-threatened students (Hedges’ g = .15), not for identity-nonthreatened students (Hedges’ g = .01). Heterogeneity in the affirmation effect was moderate to high for identity-threatened students, with effect sizes associated with (1) a larger covariate-controlled achievement gap between nonthreatened and threatened students in the control condition, suggestive of psychological underperformance, (2) the availability of financial resources in school, (3) more distal performance outcomes, and (4) the presentation of values affirmation as a normal classroom activity rather than a research study or a nonnormal classroom activity. Affirmation appears to work best when it is delivered as a normal classroom activity and where identity threat co-occurs with resources for improvement and time to await cumulative benefits.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Achievement gap intervention, self-affirmation, social identity threat, stereotype threat, values affirmation.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Spreckelsen, Dr Thees
Authors: Wu, Z., Spreckelsen, T. F., and Cohen, G. L.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Social Issues
ISSN (Online):1540-4560
Published Online:14 January 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
First Published:First published in Journal of Social Issues 77(3): 702-740
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record