A facework-based approach to the elicitation and provision of support in romantic dyads
AdvisorBurgoon, Judee K.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractSocial support has been conceptualized as coping assistance (Thoits, 1986) and facilitated reappraisal (Burleson & Goldsmith, 1998). The present investigation sought to explore this conceptualization using a facework-based approach (Goldsmith, 1994a). Specifically, the Communication Model of Facework (Lim & Bowers, 1991) and Burleson's (1985) hierarchical model of comforting sensitivity were used to create the Face Interaction Support Coding Scheme (FISCS). The Communication Model of Facework is built on the premise that individuals want to be accepted for who they are (fellowship face), to be respected for their abilities and accomplishments (competence face), and to be allowed the freedom to make decisions for themselves (autonomy face). The hierarchical model of comforting sensitivity assumes that comforting messages that are more person-centered, rather than position-centered, are often more effective at meeting the needs of distressed persons. The FISCS is intended to assess how person-centered individuals are in meeting their partner's needs for fellowship, competence and autonomy. In addition to examining facework, this study also included an assessment of conversational involvement. Seventy couples participated in an interaction where they discussed a recent stressful event being experienced by one of the partners. Participants completed measures of pre-interaction appraisals of stressfulness and controllability, post-interaction appraisals, communication satisfaction, provider helpfulness, and interaction typicality. Results were analyzed using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (Kashy & Kenny, 2000). Results of the analyses revealed that an increased use of fellowship face was related to pre- and post-interaction appraisals of problem stressfulness, as well as perceptions of communication satisfaction, provider helpfulness, and the typicality of the interaction. The partner's use of competence face was related to increased perceptions of provider helpfulness, while one's own use of autonomy face was related to perceiving the problem as less stressful following the interaction. Regarding conversational involvement, involvement and pleasantness exhibited opposite partner effects with controllability: increased partner involvement was related to perceiving the problem as more controllable after the interaction, while increased partner pleasantness was related to appraising the problem as more uncontrollable. Finally, partner involvement was also related to increased communication satisfaction and greater perceptions of interaction typicality.
Degree ProgramGraduate College