School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Alan Wimberley


Cybersecurity, Self-efficacy, Anxiety, Protection Motivation Theory


Computer Sciences | Education | Higher Education


This study sought to determine if there was a difference in the self-efficacy of freshman and senior, female and male Cybersecurity students relating to threats associated with various information systems. The design for this quantitative study was non-experimental, causal-comparative and known as group comparison used to determine if there was a causal relationship between variables. The method used to make that determination utilized a self-efficacy survey developed by Phelps (2005), to identify the independent variables specific level of self-efficacy. Research was conducted at a small, southern university with total of 33 participants. Each student was enrolled in the Computer Science Department at the university with varying levels of Cybersecurity experience. The research results did not predominately follow other research patterns. Even though there are multiple, historical instances of one’s self-efficacy showing considerable influence on an individual’s actions and approach to various threats, results from this study supported the lesser pervasive accounts where it does not. The results were in line with historical instances where self-efficacy did not play an influential part on one’s actions. In fact there was no statistically significant difference in the Cybersecurity self-efficacy of freshmen and senior, female and male students. Recommendations for future research include identifying why there was no difference between the groups with a larger research group and post hoc testing.