Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Katherine Grace Hendrix

Committee Member

Shu Li

Committee Member

David Gray Matthews

Committee Member

Sally Blake


Using qualitative and quantitative methods, I explore (a) experiences of first-generation college students with high levels of communication apprehension, (b) how the experiences compare to those of non-first generation college students, and (c) the possibility that first-generation college students experience higher levels of communication apprehension than non-first-generation college students. Thoughout of my investiagation, I : (a) confirm that students who are the first in their families to attend college experiences different from students whose parents attended or graduated from college, (b) establish a possible link betweenteh academic preparedness of students from poor quality/performing urban schools and students from high performing suburban schools, (c) confirm that high levels of of CA most often come from a concern of how students are perceived by their peers, (d) provide an example of how self-efficacy and social self-efficacy are connected to communication apprehension, (e) provide an example of how communication apprehension can stem from being a FGCS, socially unprepared and isolated from one's peers, and (f) posit that non-traditional students have concerns about age difference when taking classes with traditional students that may lead to state or situational communication apprehension. These and other research findings provide (a) examples of what has been profiled and described in earlier research on FGCS, (b) examples of what has been profiled andn described in earlier research on students with high levels of communication apprehension, and (c) support for future qualitative studies in the areas of FGCS and students with high levels of CA as a means of learning about the students' actual experiences, needs, and feelings.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.