Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

James L. Ratcliff


This exploratory study investigated the relationship between student-teacher learning style match/mismatch and perceived stress and the effect on academic achievement. Subjects were 167 undergraduate college students enrolled in one of two courses (psychology and mathematics) at Iowa State University;Data-gathering consisted of the administration of the Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI) to determine the learning style of each student and the learning/teaching styles of the respective instructors. Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Y) was administered to the subjects during the class period week prior to a major examination in each course. The scores on the State portion were used as an indicator of perceived stress. ACT scores were used as indicators of prior ability and this influence was removed through regression analysis to obtain course grade residuals. Final course grade residuals were then used as the measure of academic achievement;Statistical techniques employed in this study included descriptive statistics, correlation coefficients, simple regression analysis, and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The level of statistical significance accepted was the.05 probability level;Results did not support the speculation that mismatch between learning styles of student and instructor would affect stress levels of students and subsequent academic achievement. Significant relationships were not determined for any of the variables studied. Findings did not affirm research on learning styles;Suggestions for further research were offered including: (1) the inclusion of several instructors with differing learning styles from each discipline, (2) the use of interviews with subjects to obtain a clearer picture of difficulties they may be having with the course, and (3) the use of blood pressure checks to more accurately identify elevated stress levels.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

William J. O'Neill



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

128 pages