How Does Communication Anxiety Influence Well-Being? Examining the Mediating Roles of Preference for Online Social Interaction (POSI) and Loneliness
I proposed a conceptual model that assumes communication anxiety leads to preference for online social interaction (POSI), which in turn leads to loneliness, resulting in a negative influence on well-being. I collected data from college students (N = 336) taking an introductory communication course at a public university in the U.S. and analyzed the model using PROCESS. Findings revealed that communication anxiety increases POSI and loneliness but reduces well-being; POSI is positively associated with loneliness but is not associated with well-being. The one-mediator path from communication anxiety to well-being via POSI is not significant, but the one-mediator path from communication anxiety to well-being via loneliness is significant. The two-mediator path from communication anxiety to well-being through POSI and then through loneliness is also significant. I also conducted path analyses to examine the fit indices of a modified optimal model and an alternative model and found that the former is superior to the latter. Thus, I concluded that the mediation path from communication anxiety to well-being is more likely to be first through POSI and then through loneliness.