Understanding Anxiety, Self-Efficacy, and Motivation in Online English Learning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study, based on a cross-lagged panel design, was to examine the directionality of the relationships between anxiety, self-efficacy, and motivation in the context of online English learning. A total of 420 university students in China completed self-efficacy belief, motivation, and anxiety measures twice, eight months apart. The findings suggest that self-efficacy belief mediates the relationship between motivation and anxiety in online English learning, whereas anxiety mediates the relationship between self-efficacy belief and students’ motivation. The mediation models based on two times of data collection achieved a satisfactory fit. However, the second model demonstrated a better model fit, highlighting the importance of anxiety in the relationship between motivation and self-efficacy beliefs. Understanding the causes and effects of anxiety for students may lead to training and resource development that are important to maintaining students’ self-efficacy belief and motivation in online English learning.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • anxiety
  • motivation
  • online English learning
  • Self-efficacy


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