Objectives: To investigate the relationship between communication apprehension and socio – demographic variables in university students. Methods: a systematic review was performed to achieve the objectives of the study. Relevant papers were searched across Pubmed, EMBASE, Ovid & ERIC databases from inception till July 2017. Studies having similar quantitative data underwent meta-analysis using Review Manager (RevMan), version 5.3. Mean difference were computed together with inverse variance using random effect model, at confidence interval (CI) of 95%. Findings: A total of 306 records were identified as shown in Figure 1. Upon application of inclusion criteria n= 23 studies were identified that have used PRCA 24 to assess the CA among university and college students. Results have shown that the possibility of CA during the interview was less like during interviews -0.89 CI 95% [-1.78, -0.01, Heterogeneity: Tau² = 1.65; Chi² = 152.48, df = 8 (P < 0.00001) in comparison to general setting. In addition, day to day conversation is a much favoured setting for communication as opposed to group discussions [-0.43 CI 95% [-0.71, 1.51]. Further exploration revealed that Male students were observed to have less CA when compared to female [-3.54 CI 95% [-5.63, -1.46]. Based on the academic year, it was revealed that Year 3 students have two times less CA compared to that of Year 1 students. [OR 95% = -2.04 [-4.75, 0.68], p < 0.007]. Alex Foo however noted that business students across year 1 & year 3 do not display any differences in CA, while the difference among other disciplines was there.
Summary: PRCA 24 remains a good method to validate student’s communication apprehension. Age, gender, and culture still remain a critical component in intervention. An individual, who has higher CA, engages communication context only when really motivated.