Assertive Communication Skills in Universities
The university environment is one of the most important areas where future professionals can learn how to develop their assertive communication skills. Assertive communication can represent a chance for open communication that helps university students to become more efficient in dealing with others around them, getting better relationships. Developing assertive communication skills, university students will be able to reduce stress from their relationships with tutors, colleagues, administrators, librarians, etc. A very important aspect for them in this relationship is to learn how to stand up for their rights as students, as friends, as citizens, etc. University students with assertive communication skills also gain a better understanding of self-criticism and constructive criticism without developing a sense of self-importance. Developing assertive communication skills during university period, they are going to perform to their full potential, and to start their career in a new, successful manner. The main scope of this paper is to identify international and national universities which promote on their website interventions to develop their students’ assertiveness and the articles about effectiveness of such interventions. We identified numerous international universities but just a few national universities with assertiveness interventions programmes on their website. Also, we identified a large number of studies about assertiveness interventions, conducted with human medical students, but none in other domains with a rather high level of stress, too - educational or military.
Akbari, B., Mohamadi, J & Sadeghi, S. (2012). Effect of assertiveness
training methods on self-esteem and general self-efficacy female students of Islamic
Azad University, Anzali branch. Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research,
Alberti, R. E. & Emmons, M. L. (1970). Your perfect right: A guide to
assertive behavior. Oxford, England: Impact.
Alberti, R. E. & Emmons, M. L. (1974). Your perfect right: A guide to
assertive behavior (2nd Ed.). San Luis Obispo, CA: Impact.
Alden L. & Safran J. (1978). Irrational Beliefs and non-assertive behaviour.
Cognitive Therapy and Research, 2(4), 357-364.
Amanatullah, E. T. & Morris, M. W. (2010). Negotiating gender roles:
Gender differences in assertive negotiating are mediated by women’s fear of
backlash and attenuated when negotiating on behalf of others. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 256-267. doi: 10.1037/a0017094.
Anant, H. S. (2009). The Importance and Benefits of Assertiveness
Training. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1496230 (July 19, 2016).
Aylor, B. & Opplinger, P. (2003). Out-of-Class Communication and Student
Perceptions of Instructor Humor Orientation and Socio-Communicative Style.
Communicative Education, 52, 122-134. http://doi.org/10.1080/03634520302469
Barrow, J. & Hayashi, J. (1980). Shyness clinic: social development
program for adolescent and young adults. Personnel & Guidance Journal, 59(1),
Beatty, M. J., Plax, T. G. & Kearney, P. (1984). Communication
apprehension and the Rathus Assertiveness Schedule. Communication Research
Reports, 1, 130-133.
Begley, C. M., & Glacken, M. (2004). Irish nursing students' changing
levels of assertiveness during their pre-registration programme. Nurse Education
Today, 24(7), 501-510.
Benton, D. (1999). Assertiveness, power and influence. Nursing Standard
Berger, J., Fisek, M. N., Norman, R. Z. & Zeiditch Jr., M. (1977). Status
characteristics and social interaction: An expectation-states approach. New York:
Berry, J. W. (2005). Acculturation: Living successfully in two cultures.
International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 29, 697-712.
Blomberg, K., Bisholt, B., Kullén Engström, A., Ohlsson, U., Sundler
Johansson, A., & Gustafsson, M. (2014). Swedish nursing students' experience of
stress during clinical practice in relation to clinical setting characteristics and the
organization of the clinical education. Journal of clinical nursing, 23(15-16), 2264-
Bratko, D., Vukosav, Ž., Zarevski, P. & Vranić, A. (2002). The relations of
shyness and assertiveness traits with the dimensions of the five-factor model in
adolescence. Review of Psychology, 9, 17-24.
Burnard, P., Edwards, D., Bennett, K., Tothova, V., Baldacchino, D., Bara,
P., & Mytevelli, J. (2008). A comparative, longitudinal study of stress in student
nurses in five countries: Albania, Brunei, the Czech Republic, Malta and
Wales. Nurse Education Today, 28(2), 134-145.
Chandrasekaran, C., Clark, S., Croasdaile, L., Mates, H., McNair, C.,
Pickett, L. A., & Bardi, C. A., (2010). Latino/a Conceptions of Assertiveness:
Preliminary Results from a Qualitative Study.
Clarke, V. A. & Ruffin, C. L. (1992). Perceived sources of stress among
student nurses. Contemporary Nurse, 1(1), 35-36.
Costa Jr, P., Terracciano, A. & McCrae, R. R. (2001). Gender differences in
personality traits across cultures: robust and surprising findings. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 322-331. doi: 10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1242
Dahlin, M., Joneborg, N. & Runeson, B. (2005). Stress and depression
among medical students: A cross‐sectional study. Medical education, 39(6), 594-
Dasgupta, S. A., Suar, D. & Singh, S. (2012). Impact of managerial
communication styles on employees’ attitudes and behaviours. Employee relations,
Dyson, R. & Renk, K. (2006). Freshmen adaptation to university life:
depressive symptoms, stress and coping. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(10),
Edwards, D., Burnard, P., Bennett, K. & Heben, U. (2010). A longitudinal
study of stress and self-esteem in student nurses. Nurse education today, 30(1), 78-
Eskin M. (2003) Self-reported assertiveness in Swedish and Turkish
adolescents: a cross-cultural comparison. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 44,
Evans, K. M. (1959). The teacher-pupil relationship. Educational Research,
Freeman, L. H. & Adams, P. F. (1999). Comparative effectiveness of two
training programmes on assertive behaviour. Nursing Standard 13, 32-35.
Galassi, J. P., DeLo, J. S., Galassi, M. D. & Bastien, S. (1974). The college
self-expression scale: A measure of assertiveness. Behavior Therapy, 5(2), 165-171.
Garcia, L. & Lubetkin, B. S. (1986). Clinical issues in assertiveness training
with shy clients. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, training, 23(3), 434-
Garner, E. (2012). Assertiveness: Re-claim your assertive birthright. Downloaded
(July 19, 2019).
Gelberg, S. & Gelberg, H. (2005). Stress management interventions for
veterinary students. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 32(2), 173-181.
Golden, B. R., Corazzini, J. G. & Grady, P. (1993). Current practice of
group therapy at university counselling centres: A national survey. Professional
Psychology; Research and Practice, 24(2), 228-230.
Hamaideh, S. H. (2011). Stressors and reactions to stressors among
university students. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 57(1), 69-80.
Harris, G. E. (2011). Individual stress management coursework in Canadian
teacher preparation programs. Canadian Journal of Education, 34(4), 104-117.
Haynes, M. (2000). Teacher education for early childhood through the New
Zealand curriculum framework. New Zealand Research in Early Childhood
Education, 3, 163-176.
Heffner, C. L. (1997). Communication styles. Downloaded from
Heimberg, R. G., Montgomery, D., Madsen Jr, C. H. & Heimberg, J. S.
(1977). Assertion training: A review of the literature. Behaviour Therapy, 8(5), 953-
Infante, D. A. (1987). Aggressiveness. In J.C. McCroskey & J.A. Daly
(Eds.), Personality and interpersonal communication (pp. 157-192). Newbury Park,
Kolb, S. M. & Griffith, A. C. S. (2009). ”I’ll Repeat Myself, Again?!”
Empowering Students through Assertive Communication Strategies. Teaching
Exceptional Children, 41(3), 32-36.
Kolb, S. M. & Hanley-Maxwell, C. (2003). Critical social skills for
adolescent with high incidence disabilities: Parental perspectives. Exceptional
Children, 69, 163-179.
Lange, A. & Jakubowski, P. (1976). Responsible Assertive Behavior.
Champain. Illinois: Research Press.
Larsen, R. P. (2001). Decision making by military students under severe
stress. Military Psychology, 13(2), 89-98.
Lee, S. & Crocket, M. S. (1994). Effect of Assertiveness Training on Levels
of Stress and Assertiveness Experied by Nurses in Taiwan, Republic of China.
Issues in mental health nursing, 15(4), 419-432.
Leung, S.-K. & Bond, M. H. (2001). Interpersonal communication and
personality: Self and other perspectives. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 4, 69-
Lewittes, H. J. & Bem, S. L. (1983). Training women to be more assertive in
mixed-sex task-oriented discussions. Sex Roles, 9, 581-596.
Lin, Y. R., Shiah, I. S., Chang, Y. C., Lai, T. J., Wang, K. I. & Chou, K. R.
(2004). Evaluation of an assertiveness training program on nursing and medical
students’ assertiveness, self-esteem, and interpersonal communication satisfaction.
Nurse Education Today, 24(8), 656-665. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2004.09.004
Lounsbury, J. W., Loveland, J. M., Sundstrom, E. D., Gibson, L. W., Drost,
A. W. & Hamrich, F. L. (2003). An investigation of personality traits in relation to
career satisfaction. Journal of Career Assessment 11(3), 287-307.
Masters, J. C., & Burish, T. G. (1987). Behavior therapy: Techniques and
empirical findings. San Diego, CA, US: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
McCartan, K. & Hargie, O. D. (2004). Assertiveness and caring: Are they
compatible? Journal of Clinical Nursing, 13, 707-713.
Michelson, L. & Wood, R. (1980). A group assertive training program for
elementary school children. Child Behavior Therapy, 2(1), 1-9.
Murray-Harvey, R., T. Slee, P., Lawson, M. J., Silins, H., Banfield, G., &
Russell, A. (2000). Under stress: The concerns and coping strategies of teacher
education students. European journal of teacher education, 23(1), 19-35.
Nerdrum, P., Rustøen, T. & Rønnestad, M. H. (2006). Student psychological
distress: a psychometric study of 1750 Norwegian 1 st-year undergraduate students.
Scand J Edu Res 50(1), 95-109.
Omura, M., Levett-Jones, T. & Stone, T. E. (2019a). Design and evaluation
of an assertiveness communication training programme for nursing students.
Journal of clinical nursing, 28(9-10), 1990-1998.
Omura, M., Levett-Jones, T. & Stone, T. E. (2019b). Evaluating the impact
of an assertiveness communication training programme for Japanese nursing
students: A quasi-experimental study. Nursing open, 6(2), 463-472.
Peneva, I. & Mavrodiev, S. (2013). A historical approach to assertiveness.
Psychological Thought, 6(1), 3-26. http://doi.org/10.5964/psyct.v6i1.14
Pfeiffer, R. H. (2010). Relationships: assertiveness skills. Growth Central
Printz, D. (2003, May, 21). Group Assertiveness Training. Retrieved from:
Rakos, R. F. (1991). Assertive behavior: Theory, research, and training.
Rotheram, M. J., Armstrong, M. & Booraem, C. (1982). Assertiveness
training in fourth-and fifth-grade children. American Journal of Community
Psychology, 10(5), 567-582.
Samfira, E. M. & Arslan, H. (2017). Assessment and stress in students
majoring in agriculture–related fields, The European Proceedings of Social &
Behavioural Sciences (EpSBS), 1231-1239.
Sims, C. M. (2017). Do the big-five personality traits predict empathic
listening and assertive communication? International Journal of Listening, 31(3),
Tavakoli, S., Lumley, M. A., Hijazi, A. M., Slavin-Spenny, O. M. & Parris,
G. P. (2009). Effects of assertiveness training and expressive writing on
acculturative stress in international students: A randomized trial. Journal of
counselling psychology, 56(4), 590-596.
Zunhammer, M., Eberle, H., Eichhammer, P., & Busch, V. (2013). Somatic
symptoms evoked by exam stress in university students: the role of alexithymia,
neuroticism, anxiety and depression. PloS one, 8(12).
Waldherr, A. & Muck, P. M. (2011). Towards an integrative approach to
communication styles: The Interpersonal Circumplex and the Five-Factor Theory of
personality as frames of reference. The European Journal of Communication
Research, 36(1), 1-27. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1515/comm.2011.001
Warland, J., McKellar, L. & Diaz, M. (2014). Assertiveness training for
undergraduate midwifery students. Nurse education in practice, 14(6), 752-756.
Weaver III, J. B. (2005). Mapping the Links Between Personality and
Communicator Style. Individual Differences Research, 3(1), 59-70.
Williams, C. (2001). Overcoming Depression: A Five Areas Approach.
London: Arnold Publishers and New York: Oxford University Press.