Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

Joe W. Kotrlik


The dissertation examined factors associated with research anxiety of university faculty members. Faculty at research universities have, in the past and at the present, had to deal with pressures associated with roles as researchers, teachers, and service initiators (Miller, 1994). The "publish or perish" atmosphere that accompanies most research university faculty positions often generates questions regarding confidence in one's ability to not only conduct meaningful research, but also to develop a solid and statistically sound research study. The purpose of the study was to determine if certain factors explain possible causes of research anxiety in higher education. These factors included the educational preparation faculty members received during their graduate work, personal characteristics, and the professional environment encountered by the faculty members at their university. The objectives of the study were to: (1) Determine selected demographic characteristics and perceptions concerning the professional environment and educational preparation of faculty members. (2) Determine research anxiety levels of faculty members. (3) Determine if significant correlations exist between selected demographic variables and the research anxiety of faculty members. (4) Determine if selected variables explain significant portions of variance in research anxiety in faculty members. The participating faculty members were for the most part male and half were full professors. The mean age was 52.33 and all but one held a doctorate. Relationships between selected demographic characteristics and The Higgins-Kotrlik Research Anxiety Inventory revealed moderate correlations with rank, the number years employed in higher education, and experience teaching research methods courses. There was a low correlation between the inventory and the presence of a formal research mentoring program, age, and experience teaching statistics. The regression analysis with research anxiety as the dependent variable revealed that the faculty members' educational preparation, years employed in higher education, and professional environment explained 48% of the variance. This study revealed that there is anxiety in higher education with regards to scholarly productivity. Analysis suggested that research anxiety may be lessened by certain personal characteristics such as holding a higher rank at a university, years of experience in higher education and advanced age.