ERIC Number: ED362282
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Relationship between Communication Style and Perceived Classmate Support among Elementary School Children.
Pettitt, Lisa M.
A study sought to determine whether gender-related differences in communication style emerge developmentally. The study focused on assertive, egalitarian, and supportive communication styles rather than using the traditional dichotomous approach, which categorizes styles as feminine or masculine. Gender differences in self-identified communication styles, links between style and classmate support, and preferences for best friends and class leaders were assessed. Study participants were 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at a suburban Denver elementary school. The 178 children listened to an audio recording of a conversation while following along with a written transcript. Three speakers represented assertive, egalitarian, and supportive styles differentiated along dimensions of dominance/submission, validation, clarity of feeling, and length of turn. The students answered questions regarding the conversation, their self-esteem and mood, and their perceptions of received classmate support. Results indicated that boys were more likely than girls to identify with the assertive style, whereas girls preferred the egalitarian style. Assertive children reported receiving less classmate support than supportive or egalitarian children. Overall, children preferred to have a best friend who was either egalitarian or supportive, but thought that an assertive person would make the best class leader. Finally, children whose ideal and real communication styles were the same reported high levels of self-esteem and mood. (AC)
Descriptors: Assertiveness, Communication Research, Communication Skills, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Friendship, Interpersonal Communication, Language Usage, Leadership Qualities, Peer Relationship, Personality Traits, Self Esteem, Sex Differences, Social Networks, Student Attitudes
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A