ERIC Number: ED216402
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
A Preliminary Study of Nonverbal Cues and Relational Termination.
Smythe, Mary-Jeanette; Schlueter, David
A preliminary analysis of the nonverbal aspects of developing and deteriorating dating relationships was undertaken to determine what nonverbal behaviors were considered most important in defining such relationships. A checklist of 12 nonverbal behaviors associated with successful dating relationships was given to 100 male and 100 female college students, all of whom had reported having at least one "committed" ("steady") dating relationship. Half of the subjects identified, in rank order of frequency, behaviors on the checklist associated with successful relationships, while the other half used the same checklist to identify in rank order those behaviors indicating the end of a relationship. The results were generally consistent with those reported in previous literature in nonverbal communication. The power of negative nonverbal affect as a discriminator between distressed and nondistressed couples was a major finding, particularly with regard to decreases in eye contact, smiling, and laughter. The data revealed some modest sex differences, mostly in the sequencing of cues for deteriorating relationships. For males, expressions of affect disappeared before displays of affection. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Relationship Enhancement; Relationship Termination
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Milwaukee, WI, April 15-17, 1982).