Volume 10 Issue 3 (2021)

Investigating the moderator effect of fear of COVID-19 in the relation between communication anxiety and self-efficacy

pp. 62-77  |  Published Online: July 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2021.103.5

Nesrullah Okan


Background/purpose – COVID-19 has forced many people to face psychological problems, with already difficult living conditions having become progressively more challenging. Individuals with low pre-pandemic levels of communication anxiety saw those levels increase, which negatively affected their self-efficacy. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to examine the moderating effect of fear of COVID-19 on the relationship between communication anxiety and self-efficacy.

Materials/methods – Three measurement tools were used to perform analyses regarding the purpose of the research; the Communication Anxiety Scale, the Self-efficacy Scale, and the Fear of COVID-19 Scale. Along with these variables, the moderating effect of COVID-19 fear was examined. IBM’s SPSS 25 package program and Hayes’s process were used to perform the analysis. Data from 393 participants were included in the analysis within the scope of the research.

Results – In the model in which the moderating effect of COVID-19 fear was examined, it was concluded that fear of COVID-19 worsened the relationship between communication anxiety and self-efficacy. In addition, a negative and significant result was obtained between communication anxiety and self-efficacy.

Conclusion – According to the results obtained from this research, fear of COVID-19 increases communication anxiety and decreases self-efficacy. At the same time, fear of COVID-19 had a negative moderating effect on the relationship between communication anxiety and self-efficacy. This research was completed by analyzing the variables, presenting the results, forming a discussion, and with suggestions put forward.

Keywords: COVID-19, COVID-19 fear, communication anxiety, self-efficacy, moderator.


Ahorsu, D. K., Lin, C-Y., Imani, V., Saffari, M., Griffiths, M. D., & Pakpour, A. H. (2020). The Fear of COVID19 Scale: Development and initial validation. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. Advance Online Publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00270-8

Aypay, A. (2010). Genel Öz Yeterlik Ölçeği’nin GÖYÖ Türkçe’ye Uyarlama Çalışması [The Adaptation Study of General Self Efficacy (GSE) Scale to Turkish]. İnönü Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi11(2), 113-131. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/inuefd/issue/8702/108659

Bacchini, D., & Magliulo, F. (2003). Self-image and perceived self-efficacy during adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 32, 337-350. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024969914672

Bakioğlu, F., Korkmaz, O., & Ercan, H. (2020). Fear of COVID-19 and positivity: Mediating role of intolerance of uncertainty, depression, anxiety, and stress. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. Advance Online Publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00331-y

Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thoughts and action: A social cognitive theory. Prentice-Hall.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self‐efficacy: The exercise of control. Freeman.

Bandura, A. (2000). Cultivate self-efficacy for personal and organizational effectiveness. In E. A. Locke (Ed.), Handbook of principles of organization behavior (pp. 120-136). Blackwell.

Bandura, A. (2006). Guide for constructing self-efficacy scales. In F. Pajares & T. Urdan (Eds.), Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents (pp. 307-337). Information Age

Bandura, A., Caprara, G. V., Barbaranelli, C., Gerbino, M., & Pastorelli, C. (2003). Role of affective self-regulatory efficacy in diverse spheres of psychosocial functioning. Child Development, 74(3), 769-782. http://10.1111/1467-8624.00567

Bandura, A., Pastorelli, C., Barbaranelli, C., & Caprara, G. V. (1999). Self-efficacy pathways to childhood depression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(2), 258-269. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/0022-3514.76.2.258

Beatty, M. J., McCroskey, J. C., & Heisel, A. D. (1998). Communication apprehension at temperamental expression: A communibiological paradigm. Communication Monographs, 65(3), 197-219. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637759809376448

Benight, C. C., & Bandura, A. (2004). Social cognitive theory of posttraumatic recovery: The role of perceived self-efficacy. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42(10), 1129-1148. http://10.1016/j.brat.2003.08.008

Benight, C. C., & Harper, M. L. (2002). Coping self-efficacy perceptions as a mediator between acute stress response and long-term distress following natural disasters. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 15(3), 177-186. http://10.1023/a:1015295025950

Bisschop, M. I., Kriegsman, D. M., Beekman, A. T., & Deeg, D. J. (2004). Chronic diseases and depression: The modifying role of psychosocial resources. Social Science & Medicine, 59(4), 721-733. http://10.1016/j.socscimed.2003.11.038

Blume, B. D., Dreher, G., & Baldwin, T. T. (2010). Examining the effects of communication apprehension within assessment centres. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83(3), 663-671. https://doi.org/10.1348/096317909X463652

Bodie, G. D. (2010). A racing heart, rattling knees, and ruminative thoughts: Defining and explaining public speaking anxiety. Communication Education, 59(1), 70-105. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634520903443849

Bourhis, J., Allen, M. T., & Bauman, I. (2006). Communication apprehension: Issues to consider in the classroom. In B. M. Gayle, R. W. Preiss, N. Burrell, & M. Allen, (Eds.), Classroom communication and instructional processes: Advances through meta-analysis (pp. 211-227. Erlbaum.

Brouwers, A., & Tomic, W. (2000). A longitudinal study of teacher burnout and perceived self-efficacy in classroom management. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16(2), 239-253. http://10.1016/s0742-051x(99)00057-8

Büyüköztürk, Ş. (2015). Sosyal bilimler için veri analizi el kitabı: İstatistik, araştırma deseni SPSS uygulamaları ve yorum (Gözden geçirilmiş yirmi birinci baskı) [Handbook of data analysis for social sciences: Statistics, research design, SPSS and comments]. Pegem.

Caprara, G. V., Gerbino, M., Paciello, M., Di Giunta, L., & Pastorelli, C. (2010). Counteracting depression and delinquency in late adolescence: The role of regulatory emotional and interpersonal self-efficacy beliefs. European Psychologist, 15(1), 34-48. https://doi.org/10.1027/1016-9040/a000004

Chen, J., Liu, T., Zheng, M., & Chen, C. (2010). Relationships between self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-concept, and depression. Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology, 18, 799-801. https://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTotal-ZLCY201006036.htm

Cohen, J., & Cohen, P. (1983). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences. (2nd ed.). Erlbaum.

Creswell, J. W. (2017). Araştırma probleminin tanımlanması (D. Dinçer, Trans.). In J. W. Creswell Eğitim Araştırmaları: Nicel ve Nitel Araştırmanın Planlanması, Yürütülmesi ve Değerlendirilmesi (pp. 82-108). Eğitim Danışmanlığı ve Araştırmaları Merkezi.

Çakmak, V. (2018). İletişim kaygısı ve sosyal medya. Eğitim yayınları.

Daly, J. A. (1978). The assessment of social-communicative anxiety via self-reports: A comparison of measures. Communication Monographs, 45(3), 204-218. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637757809375966

Duff, D. C., Levine, T. R., Beatty, M. J., Woolbright, J., & Park, H. S. (2007). Testing public speaking anxiety treatments against a credible placebo control. Communication Education, 56(1), 72-88.

Dwyer, K. (2000). The multidimensional model: Teaching students to self-manage high communication apprehension by self-selecting treatments. Communication Education, 49(1), 72-81. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634520009379194

Eroğlu, E., Ataizi, M., Yüksel, N., & Yüksel, A. (2013). Etkili iletişim teknikleri. Anadolu University.

Galea, S., Merchant, R. M., & Lurie, N. (2020). The mental health consequences of COVID-19 and physical distancing: The need for prevention and early intervention. Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, 180(6), 817-818. http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.1562

Gallagher, D., Ni Mhaolain, A., Crosby, L., Ryan, D., Lacey, L., Coen, R. F., Walsh, C., Oakley, D., Walsh, J. B., Cunningham, C., & Lawlor, B. A. (2011). Self-efficacy for managing dementia may protect against burden and depression in Alzheimer’s caregivers. Aging & Mental Health, 15(6), 663-670. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2011.562179

Gritsenko, V., Skugarevsky, O., Konstantinov, V., Khamenka, N., Marinova, T., Reznik, A., & Isralowitz, R. (2020). COVID 19 Fear, Stress, Anxiety, and Substance Use Among Russian and Belarusian University Students. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, Advanced Online Publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00330-z

Guan, W., Ni, Z., Hu, Y., Liang, W., Ou, C., He, J., Liu, L., Shan, H., Lei, C., Hui, D. S. C., Du, B., Li, L.-J., Zeng, G., Yuen, K.-Y., Chen, R.-C., Tang, C. I., Wang, T., Chen, P.-Y., Xiang, J.,…Zhong, N.-S. (2020). Clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 in China. New England Journal of Medicine, 382, 1708-1720. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2002032

Hassall, T., Arquero, J. L., Joyce, J., & Gonzalez, J. M. (2013). Communication apprehension and communication self-efficacy in accounting students. Asian Review of Accounting, 21(2), 160-175. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/ARA-03-2013-0017

Hayes, A. F. (2013). Methodology in the social sciences. Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. Guilford.

Hayes, A. F. (2018). Partial, conditional, and moderated mediation: Quantification, inference, and interpretation. Communication Monographs, 85(1), 4-40. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2017.1352100

Hoffman, B. (2010). “I think I can, but I’m afraid to try”: The role of self-efficacy beliefs and mathematics anxiety in mathematics problem-solving efficiency. Learning and Individual Differences, 20(3), 276-283. https://10.1016/j.lindif.2010.02.001

Kameg, B. N. (2020). Psychiatric‐Mental Health Nursing Leadership During Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‐19). Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. Advanced Online Publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/JPM.12662

Karakose, T. (2020). Global Education in the shadow of the novel coronavirus: Reflections on the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on education systems. Educational Process: International Journal, 9(4), 201-204. http://dx.doi.org/10.22521/edupij.2020.94.1

Karakose, T. (2021). The impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on higher education: Opportunities and implications for policy and practice. Educational Process: International Journal, 10(1), 7-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.22521/edupij.2021.101.1

Karakose, T., & Demirkol, M. (2021). Exploring the emerging COVID-19 research trends and current status in the field of education: a bibliometric analysis and knowledge mapping. Educational Process: International Journal, 10(2): 7-27. https://dx.doi.org/10.22521/edupij.2021.102.1

Karakose, T., & Malkoc, N. (2021a). Psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical doctors in Turkey. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 49(1), Article e9890. https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.9890

Karakose, T., & Malkoc, N. (2021b). Behavioral and interpersonal effects of the COVID-19 epidemic on frontline physicians working in Emergency Departments (EDs) and Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Acta Medica Mediterranea, 37, 437-444. https://doi.org/10.19193/0393-6384_2021_1_68

Karakose, T., Yirci, R., Basyigit, H., & Kucukcakir, A. (2021). Investigation of associations between the effects of COVID-19 fear on school administrators and nutrition and problematic eating behaviors. Progress in Nutrition, 23(2), Article e2021187. https://doi.org/10.23751/pn.v23i2.11656

Klasen, F., Otto, C., Kristen, L., Patalay, P., Schlack, R., & Sieberer, U. R. (2015). Risk and protective factors for the development of depressive symptoms in children and adolescents: results of the longitudinal BELLA study. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 24(6), 695-703. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-014-0637-5

Koçak, O., Koçak, Ö. E., & Younis, M. Z. (2020). The Psychological Consequences of COVID-19 Fear and the Moderator Effects of Individuals’ Underlying Illness and Witnessing Infected Friends and Family. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(4), Article 1836. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041836

Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J. H., & Whitt, E. J. (2011). Student success in college: Creating conditions that matter. Wiley.

Lam, M. H. B., Wing, Y. K., Yu, M. W. M., Leung, C. M., Ma, R. C. W., Kong, A. P. S., So, W. Y., Fong, S. Y. Y. & Lam, S. P. (2009). Mental morbidities and chronic fatigue in severe acute respiratory syndrome survivors: Long-term follow-up. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(22), 2142-2147. https://doi.org/10.1001/archinternmed.2009.384

Leary, M. R. (1983). Social anxiousness: The construct and its measurement. Journal of Personality Assessment, 47(1), 66-75. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327752jpa4701_8

Lee, J. (2020). Mental health effects of school closures during COVID-19. Lancet: Child & Adolescent Health, 4(6), 421. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(20)30109-7

Levinson, C. A., Langer, J. K., & Rodebaugh, T. L. (2011). Social anxiety and self-construal: Considering personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 51(3), 355-359. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2011.04.006

McCroskey, J. C. (1977). Classroom Consequences of Communication Apprehension. Communication Education, 26(1), 27-33. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634527709378196

McCroskey, J. C. (1982). The An Introduction to Rhetorical Communication (4 b.). Prentice Hall.

Muris, P., Meesters, C., Pierik, A., & de Kock, B. (2016). Good for the self: Self-compassion and other self-related constructs in relation to symptoms of anxiety and depression in non-clinical youth. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25, 607-617. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-015-0235-2

Mutlu, E. (2012). İletişim sözlüğü teknikleri. Sofos yayınları.

Niemiec, T., & Lachowicz-Tabaczek, K. (2015). The moderating role of specific self-efficacy in the impact of positive mood on cognitive performance. Motivation and Emotion, 39(4), 498-505. https://10.1007/s11031-014-9469-3

Nierop, A., Wirtz, P. H., Bratsikas, A., Zimmermann, R., & Ehlert, U. (2008). Stress-buffering effects of psychosocial resources on physiological and psychological stress response in pregnant women. Biological Psychology, 78(3), 261-268. https://10.1016/j.biopsycho.2008.03.012

Okuhara, T., Okada, H., & Kiuchi, T. (2020). Predictors of Staying at Home during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Lockdown based on Protection Motivation Theory: A Cross-Sectional Study in Japan. Healthcare, 8(4), Article 475. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040475

Pfefferbaum, B., & North, C. S. (2020). Mental health and the Covid-19 pandemic. New England Journal of Medicine, 383, 510-512. http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp2008017

Phelps, C., & Sperry, L. L. (2020). Children and the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(S1), 73-75. https://dx.doi.org/10.1037/tra0000861

Richmond, V. P., & McCroskey, J. C. (1989). Communication apprehension, avoidance and effectiveness. Gorusch.

Santini, Z. I., Jose, P. E., York Cornwell, E., Koyanagi, A., Nielsen, L., Hinrichsen, C., & Koushede, V. (2020). Social disconnectedness, perceived isolation, and symptoms of depression and anxiety among older Americans (SNAP): A longitudinal mediation analysis. The Lancet Public Health, 5(1), e62-e70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(19)30230-0

Sanz, A., & Villamarin, F. (2001). The role of perceived control in physiological reactivity: Self-efficacy and incentive value as regulators of cardiovascular adjustment. Biological Psychology, 56(3), 219-246. https://10.1016/s0301-0511(01)00095-3

Schwarzer, R., & Jerusalem, M. (1995). Generalized self-efficacy scale. In J. Weinman, S. Wright, & M. Johnston (Eds.), Measures in health psychology: A user’s portfolio. Causal and control beliefs (pp. 35-37). NFER-Nelson.

Sheridan, A., Andersen, A. L., Hansen, E. T., & Johannesen, N. (2020). Social distancing laws cause only small losses of economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scandinavia. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(34), 20468-20473. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2010068117

Singh, P., & Bussey, K. (2011). Peer victimization and psychological maladjustment: The mediating role of coping self-efficacy. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(2), 420-433. http://10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00680.x

Soysa, C. K., & Wilcomb, C. J. (2015). Mindfulness, self-compassion, self-efficacy, and gender as predictors of depression, anxiety, stress, and well-being. Mindfulness, 6, 217-226. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-013-0247-1

Steca, P., Abela, J. R. Z., Monzani, D., Greco, A., Hazel, N. A., & Hankin, B. L. (2014). Cognitive vulnerability to depressive symptoms in children: The protective role of self-efficacy beliefs in a multi-wave longitudinal study. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42(1), 137-148. https://10.1007/s10802-013-9765-5

Torales, J., O’Higgins, M., Castaldelli-Maia, J. M., & Ventriglio, A.(2020). The outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus and its impact on global mental health. The International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 66(4), 317-320. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020764020915212

Vaezi, S., & Fallah, N. (2013). The relationship between self-efficacy and stress among Iranian EFL teachers. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2(5), 1168-1174. https://10.4304/jltr.2.5.1168-1174

Van Bavel, J. J., Baicker, K., Boggio, P. S., Capraro, V. Cichocka, A., Cikara, M., Crockett, M. J., Crum, A. J., Douglas, K. M., Druckman, J. N., Drury, J., Dube, O., Ellemers, N., Finkel, E. J., Fowler, J. H., Gelfand, M., Han, S., Haslam, A., Jetten, J.,…Willer, R. (2020) Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response. Nature Human Behaviour, 4, 460-471. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-0884-z

Wong, M. S.-L. (2005). Language learning strategies and language self-efficacy. Investigating the relationship in Malaysia. RELC Journal, 36(3), 245-269. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0033688205060050



EDUPIJ Statistics from Scopus

CiteScore: 1.4, view Scopus page

► Educational Process: International Journal is member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

► New issue coming soon! (Volume 11 Issue 3, 2022)