Communication Apprehension, State Anxiety and Behavioral Disruption: A Causal Analysis

Michael J. Beatty, Jean A. Dobos, Gary L. Balfantz, Alison Y. Kuwabara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Although a considerable body of research has accumulated which establishes correlations among communication apprehension, communication state anxiety and behavioral disruption, theoretical speculations regarding the causal nature of those relationships are based mostly on cross-sectional data. In the present study, data pertaining to all three variables were collected across time and causal models of the relationships were tested. The results of path analysis indicated that behavioral disruption and state anxiety were predictive of subsequent communication apprehension scores. These findings were consistent with expectations based on the “James-Lange” theory of emotion and the assimilation theory of communication apprehension. On the other hand, no effect on behavior was detected for communication apprehension. Theoretical implications for these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication apprehension
  • behavioral disruption
  • path analysis
  • performance anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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