The Role of User Demographics, Self-Efficacy and Interpersonal Competence on Communication Style Preferences of Rural University Students

  • Jessie Park Discipline of Psychology, College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Australia
  • Nerina J. Caltabiano Discipline of Psychology, College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Australia
  • Karim Hajhashemi College of Arts, Society and Education, James Cook University, Australia

Abstract

Despite the amount of information known about how people engage in offline social interactions, there is limited knowledge regarding how such interactions express themselves in the online environment. For social interactions to be consistently harmonious, a level of interpersonal competence and self-efficacy are required. The study aims to determine the relationships andthe predictive capacity of user demographics, self-efficacy and interpersonal competence for online communication preferences using an online survey methodology.  The sample consisted of 65 males and 158 females attending a rural Australian university whose ages ranged from 17 to 59 years (M=25.06, SD=10.14). Online communication preferences were operationalized as communication style preferences (synchronous versus asynchronous), context disclosure preferences (one-to-one/one-to-many), and platform preferences (social media involving family and friends versus emails involving colleagues). Age and interpersonal competence were significant predictors for communication style preferences in terms of the timing in conversations and platform preferences. None of the demographics, self-efficacy or the interpersonal competence were found to predict context disclosure preferences. The findings extend knowledge in the field of online social  interaction research.

Author Biographies

Jessie Park, Discipline of Psychology, College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Australia

Jessie Park has a Bachelor of Psychology honor degree from the College of Healthcare Sciences, Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University.

Nerina J. Caltabiano, Discipline of Psychology, College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Australia
Associate Professor Nerina J. Caltabiano is the Fourth-Year Psychology Coordinator in the College of Healthcare Sciences, Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University.  She is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society. As a Social Psychologist she publishes within the areas of social, development and educational psychology. Together with her collaborators, she has been the recipient of several grants including an Australian Rotary Health Research Fund, an Education Queensland grant, and an ARC Discovery Grant. 
Karim Hajhashemi, College of Arts, Society and Education, James Cook University, Australia
Dr Karim Hajhashemi (corresponding author) is a researcher at James Cook University. He has completed his PhD. in Education at James Cook University in Australia and holds an MA. in Applied Linguistics and a  B.A. in English Language Translation. He has published several books and articles on various topics in applied linguistics and Education in general and in multiple intelligences and online learning, in particular. He is committed to high quality research in Higher Education, innovation and change in education, teacher education, digital literacy, quality teaching, teacher development, educational psychology, Educational technology and Learning Analytics. His research outputs fall within these areas and reflect his commitment and passion to education and technology.
Published
2019-07-06