ERIC Number: ED428402
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jan-18
Reference Count: N/A
Supportive Communication at Universities: A Quantitative Analysis of Communication Exchanges.
Larson, Kelly B.
In response to decreasing retention of the average freshman due to many anxiety-causing factors, the Freshmen Interest Groups (FIGs) program was instituted at the University of Missouri (UMC). A study explored the idea of FIGs to see if they are instrumental in providing emotional and task support in the university setting. A survey was administered to 44 students in two sections of the basic communication course to evaluate the effects of FIG membership on students' level of satisfaction with task and emotional support received within their respective group. One section consisted of FIG participants, and the other section of non-FIG participants. To assure levels of satisfaction on the informational, task, and emotional levels, the Social Support Survey (SSS-C) was modified to the research population and context. The concept of FIGs is a growing trend in medium and large-sized universities to address the complaints of "being a number." This research with learners at UMC does not generally support this trend. Statistical comparison (t-tests) between FIG (n=19) and non-FIG (n=25) participants showed no significant relationship between membership and perceived levels of task or emotional support. Initially, FIG participants have more communication exchanges per week than non-FIG participants, but frequency did not translate into different levels of satisfaction between the two groups. The main limitation is that the population size is probably too insignificant to generalize findings to the FIG program as a whole. (A sample survey is appended; contains 14 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Social Support Questionnaire