ERIC Number: ED210736
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Adult Life Transitions: An Assessment of Rhetorical Sensitivity Following Loss of Spouse.
Shulman, Gary M.; Cahn, Dudley D.
One hundred fifteen members of the organization Parents Without Partners were surveyed for their communication attitudes in a study examining the relationship between rhetorical sensitivity and a dramatic, stress-producing situation--the loss of a spouse through death, legal separation, or divorce. The survey measured the ways the subjects matched three communicator types: (1) the rhetorically sensitive person, one who generally accepted the variability of communication and interpersonal relationships and did not try to avoid stylized verbal behavior; (2) the "noble self," one who would see any variation from personal norms as hypocritical and a denial of integrity; and (3) the "rhetorical reflector," who would present a different self for each person or situation. The results of the attitude survey revealed that the widowed subjects scored significantly lower on rhetorical sensitivity and significantly higher on noble self than did the divorced/separated subjects. No significant differences were found between the two groups as rhetorical reflector types. Based on these results, it was hypothesized that the grieving process may differ for the two groups, creating variations in the way these people reorder their social systems after the loss of a spouse. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communicator Style; Interpersonal Communication