Title page for ETD etd-5950172439741131

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Lewis-Holmes, Brenda
URN etd-5950172439741131
Title Reducing Public Speaking Anxiety For Community College Students: The Effects of A Combination Anxiety Reduction Technique on Trait and State Anxiety
Degree PhD
Department Education
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Allen, Barbara L.
Boucouvalas, Marcie
McKeen, Ronald L.
Stubblefield, Harold W.
Belli, Gabriella M. Committee Chair
  • communication apprehension
  • community college
  • trait anxiety
  • state anxiety
Date of Defense 1997-04-10
Availability unrestricted
The effectiveness of a treatment for

communication apprehension (CA) was

examined in this study. Trait and state anxiety

were examined by using community college

students enrolled in four sections of a required

basic speech communication course. The

sample size consisted of 81 students, ranging

in ages 17-82. Each student was asked to

complete a trait anxiety measure (Personal

Report of Communication Apprehension-24)

during the second class meeting (pre-test) and

again on the last day of class (post-test). For

the state anxiety measure, students were asked

to complete the Speaker Anxiety (SA) Scale

immediately after delivering an informative

speech at the end of the semester. Two

classes served as the treatment group,

receiving a 15-minute combination anxiety

reduction technique and two classes served as

the control group, receiving no treatment. A

significant interaction was found in

physiological activation, an important direct

manifestation of state anxiety commonly

experienced as irregular heart beat, dry mouth,

sweaty palms, and feelings of exhaustion. The

findings showed that the students in the control

group who spoke in the second week had

higher anxieties than did the other students. A

dividend of this investigation was the result that

supported frequent anecdotal reports from

past speech students; namely, that at the

conclusion of the basic speech course,

students in this study reported a reduction in

trait anxiety. Of the other comparisons made,

race and maternal encouragement were shown

as major influences for the trait of

communication apprehension. Future research

should use larger samples of community

college students and focus on state anxiety

with trait anxiety as a monitor for stability.

Treatments might also be expanded to weekly

sessions during a major portion of one


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