© 2017 Fwu, Chen, Wei and Wang. Previous studies have found that in East Asian Confucian societies, hardworking students are often trapped in a dilemma of enjoying a positive moral image while suffering from emotional distress due to academic failure. This study intends to further explore whether the cultural-specific belief in self-exertion acts as a psychological mechanism to lessen these students' negative emotions. A group of 288 college students in Taiwan were administered a questionnaire to record their responses to past academic failures. The results from structural equation modeling showed that self-exertion functioned as a mediator between the effects of effort on learning virtues and emotional distress. Self-exertion to fulfill one's duty to oneself positively mediated the effect of effort on learning virtues, whereas self-exertion to fulfill one's duty to one's parents negatively mediated the effect of effort on emotional distress. Theoretical and cultural implications are further discussed.
Fwu, B. J., Chen, S. W., Wei, C. F., & Wang, H. H. (2017). The mediating role of self-exertion on the effects of effort on learning virtues and emotional distress in academic failure in a confucian context. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(JAN). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.02047