Main Article Content
The educational system and parent’s expectation instills academic stress in students and it has become a part of every student’s academic life.. They feel less confident about their career choices and become vulnerable to career anxiety which is not conducive to their mental health. Social competence can prove to manage academic stress and career anxiety among students which can increase their abilities to perform diligently in academia. It aims to investigate the mediating role of social competence in relationship between academic stress and career anxiety among students studying in public institutions. The study employed a correlation research design where 100 participants from 4 different public institutes in Lahore, Pakistan selected through a purposive sampling strategy while using Educational Stress Scale (ESS), Career Anxiety Scale (CAS), Social Competence Scale (SCS) along with demographic sheet. The findings revealed that academic stress has significant positive relationship with career anxiety (**p < .01) and significant negative relationship with social competence (**p < .01). Mediation analysis depicted that social competence played a mediating role between academic stress and career anxiety (β = -.16, p = .03) in students studying at public institutions. Hierarchical regression showed that social competence negatively predicts career anxiety and academic stress found a significant positive predictor of career anxiety. Finding of this study suggests that effective counseling modules and intervention strategies should provided to students at their institutes to alleviate their' academic stress and career anxiety.