Bullying and social anxiety experiences in university learning situations Maili Pörhölä 1


Anxiety syndrome and social anxiety



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2.2.2 Anxiety syndrome and social anxiety
Students’ experiences of anxiety were operationalized by means of two questions. Diagnosed anxiety syndrome was included in a list of health issues by asking Has a doctor, dentist, or psychologist diagnosed some permanent, long-term, or recurring illness, health problem, or trauma, which has caused you symptoms or required treatment over the past year (12 months Respondents were then asked to choose each item in the list that was true for them, including anxiety syndrome (panic attack, fear of social situations, etc.)”.
The second question included a set of items assessing the level of social anxiety experienced across various types of university learning situations and is Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.


733 1 Bullying and social anxiety experiences in university learning…
called here context-specific social anxiety. The question was presented by asking Do you feel such anxiety in your learning situations that it is a problem for you and a list of five typical university learning situations was given, consisting of (a) public speaking and presentation situations, (b) seminars, (c) discussing with a teacher or supervisor, (d) speaking in a foreign language, and, (e) exams and tests. These situations were chosen to represent relatively formal learning situations that include evaluation of individual student’s performance. The respondents were asked to indicate how much social anxiety they typically felt in each type of learning situation (response range 0–3; 0 = I feel no anxiety, 1 = I feel
anxiety at times, but it’s not a problem, 2 = anxiety is a slight problem, 3 = anxiety
is a big problem). A total score was calculated for each respondent by averaging across the five items, to indicate the level of context-specific social anxiety
(Cronbach’s alpha = .737), and scores on individual learning situations were used to indicate the level of situation-specific social anxiety experiences.

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