The Relationship Between Measures of Spiritual Well-Being and Communication Apprehension: A Pilot Study

By Karen L. Rudick and John Fitch III.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Communication anxiety is both common and potentially debilitating; a negative relationship between the level of communication apprehension and communication skills has been consistently described in both communication and psychology research. After decades of studies on communication apprehension, researchers are favoring a communiobiological approach. This raises a challenging question for educators: if our speech anxiety is inherited, how are classroom techniques or therapy treatments, other than drugs, possible? Most researchers recommend the use of multiple coping strategies, none of which explore or address spirituality.
The proposed pilot study explores the relationship between measures of communication apprehension and spiritual well-being. Subjects are 20 students enrolled in an interviewing communication course at a public institution in the Southeastern United States during the summer of 2010. The pilot study utilizes two measurements: the Communication Anxiety Inventory Form Trait (Booth-Butterfield and Gould, 1986) and the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (Paloutzian and Ellison, 1982). If there is a correlation between communication anxiety and spiritual well-being, further exploration may provide more possibilities for educators and students in developing individual coping strategies.

Keywords: Spiritual Well-Being, Communication Apprehension, Communication Anxiety, Education, Communication

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.75-88. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 719.752KB).

Dr. Karen L. Rudick

Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky, USA

Dr. Karen L. Rudick is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Communication with an emphasis in Negotiations in 1991 from Purdue University. Dr. Rudick started teaching at Eastern Kentucky University in 1992. She teaches courses in Negotiation, Communication Theory, Organizational Communication, Interviewing, and Business & Professional Speaking. Created in 2005 with alumni donations, the Karen L. Rudick Entrepreneurial Scholarship pays tribute to Dr. Rudick’s dedication and service to students majoring in Communication Studies. In 2006 Dr. Rudick was awarded the Distinguished Educational Leader Award for “Most Outstanding” teacher by the Eastern Kentucky University Student Government Association.

John Fitch III

Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky, USA

John Fitch III grew up in rural Jessamine County near Wilmore, KY. He worked for fifteen years in mass media. John has a BA from Asbury College and an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design.