A1 Journal article (refereed)
Examining the relationship between public speaking anxiety, distress tolerance and psychological flexibility (2020)

Gallego, A., McHugh, L., Villatte, M., & Lappalainen, R. (2020). Examining the relationship between public speaking anxiety, distress tolerance and psychological flexibility. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 16, 128-133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2020.04.003

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Gallego, Ana; McHugh, Louise; Villatte, Matthieu; Lappalainen, Raimo

Journal or series: Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science

ISSN: 2212-1447

eISSN: 2212-1455

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 16

Pages range: 128-133

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2020.04.003

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/68562


Public speaking is an important skill for university students to learn and practice as they progress through education and into their careers. However, individuals often avoid facing public speaking, as they lack the skills to cope with the anxiety that arises when speaking in front of others. The current study aimed to investigate the relationship between public speaking anxiety, distress tolerance, and psychological flexibility. A sample of 95 college students completed psychological flexibility measures and self-ratings of public speaking anxiety before and after a public speaking challenge. A behavioral index of public speaking distress tolerance (i.e., speech duration) was also recorded. The results showed that self-reported public speaking anxiety correlates significantly with a number of aspects of psychological flexibility (i.e., openness to experiences, self-perspective skills, and cognitive fusion). These findings suggest that openness to experiences is a key factors in developing interventions to cope with self-reported public speaking anxiety for undergraduate students. However, if we want to increase speech duration as a behavioral index of distress tolerance, training skills related to behavioral awareness and valued actions might be more relevant. The results are discussed in terms of their relevance to the development of public speaking interventions for university students.

Keywords: performing (appearance); performance anxiety; speech (phenomena); anxiety; stress management

Free keywords: public speaking anxiety; social anxiety; psychological flexibility; distress tolerance; speech challenge; behavioral assessment task

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-16-07 at 10:48