SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Bowen, J. D., Winczewski, L. A., & Collins, N. L. (2017). Language style matching in romantic partners’ conflict and support interactions. Journal of Language & Social Psychology, 36, 263–286. doi:10.1177/0261927X16666308

Abstract: This study examined the association between language style matching (LSM), subjective perceptions of interaction quality (perceived responsiveness and affect), and partner behavior in two communication contexts: conflict and social support. Romantic couples (N = 91) engaged in a video-recorded discussion of either a relationship stressor or one partner’s personal stressor (a social support discussion). LSM was associated with unique outcomes in each communication setting. Higher LSM was associated with lower subjective perceptions of responsiveness and less positive emotion for partners discussing relationship stressors but more positive emotion for partners in social support discussions. Furthermore, higher LSM was associated with more critical and negative interpersonal behavior and less responsive and caring behavior during discussions of relationship stressors but was unrelated to behavior in support discussions. Findings suggest that LSM does not uniformly signal interpersonal rapport (as often assumed) and may instead amplify the positive or negative tone of an interaction.

Journal Article 2: Cannava, K., & Bodie, G. D. (2017). Language use and style matching in supportive conversations between strangers and friends. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 34, 467–485. doi:10.1177/0265407516641222

Abstract: Using data from individuals disclosing a personally relevant and problematic event to either a stranger (N = 151) or friend (N = 119), this study explored whether emotion and cognitive mechanism words produced by the discloser and the language style matching (LSM) of interlocutors influenced the reappraisal process necessary to feel better. Results showed that positive emotion words and LSM influenced reported emotional improvement through the mechanism of cognitive reappraisal (CR). This model was supported for friends and strangers who also did not appreciably differ with respect to language use or style matching. The discussion highlights the role of CR as well as the potential for other emotion regulation strategies in the conversational coping process.

Journal Article 3: Kam, J. A., Basinger, E. D., & Guntzviller, L. M. (2017). Communal coping among Spanish-speaking mother-child dyads engaging in language brokering: A latent class analysis. Communication Research, 44, 743–769.

Abstract: Utilizing self-reported survey data from 120 low-income, Spanish-speaking mother–child dyads, this study examined different types of classes (i.e., subgroups) based on the ways in which mothers and adolescent children coped with language brokering, particularly when they found it stressful. Four classes emerged, listed from largest to smallest class: (a) communal coping mothers, (b) shared communal copers, (c) independent communal coping children, and (d) communal coping children. Mothers’ parent–child closeness predicted class membership, but adolescent children’s reported closeness was not a significant predictor. Nevertheless, adolescent children’s respect for family significantly predicted class membership, whereas mothers’ respect for family was not a significant predictor. Mothers who were members of the communal coping children class reported less frequent depressive symptoms, whereas children who were independent communal coping children reported more frequent depressive symptoms.

Journal Article 4: Ma, R., & Seate, A. A. (2017). Reexamining the use of tentative language in emails: The effects of gender salience and gender typicality. Journal of Language & Social Psychology, 36, 694–714. doi:10.1177/0261927X17706941

Abstract: Drawing on self-categorization theory, the current study examines the effects of gender salience and interlocutor gender typicality on men and women’s use of tentative language in emails. We conducted an experiment manipulating identity salience using gender-stereotypic conversation topics, and typicality using biographies of the fictitious female interlocutor. The results were consistent with self-categorization theory and previous research on gender-based language use: Men were more tentative when discussing a conversation topic in which their gender group was not considered experts. More important, interlocutor gender typicality influenced participants’ tentative language, such that when the interlocutor was a typical woman, men and women became more tentative discussing a conversation topic in which they were not considered experts. This study has implications for future research on the contextual factors that may influence the use of language in both intragroup and intergroup communication.