Young Adults’ Conversational Strategies During Negotiation and Self-Disclosure in Same-Gender and Mixed-Gender Friendships
- 162 Downloads
Actor gender and partner gender effects on conversational strategies were investigated among young adult friends during assigned negotiation and self-disclosure tasks. The sample comprised 146 same- or mixed-gender friendship pairs (age range = 17–23) of U.S. undergraduates from diverse ethnic-racial backgrounds (52% White, 19% Latinx, 17% Asian, 18% other). Pairs of same-gender friends or mixed-gender friends were assigned a negotiation task and a self-disclosure task while their conversations were video-recorded. Dyadic analyses were conducted using hierarchical linear modeling to assess actor gender and partner gender effects on conversational strategies. During the negotiation task, women were more likely than men were to use affiliative strategies (requests, indirect suggestions, justifications); in contrast, men were more likely to use self-emphasizing strategies (direct suggestions). In the self-disclosure task, women were more likely than men to express self-disclosing statements and to provide reflective listening responses to friends’ disclosures (e.g., elaborations, backchannel interjections) especially in same-gender pairs. In contrast, men were more likely to use distancing responses (e.g., negative comments). Most effect sizes were small. Finally, participants’ ratings of conflict in the friendship were related to the likelihood of some speech strategies in both tasks. Findings highlight the contexts of gender-related variations in language use among young adult friends.
KeywordsGender Friendship Conversation Negotiation Self-disclosure Listening Male female relations
The present research was supported by grants in 1996 and 1997 to the author from the Social Sciences Division and the Academic Senate of the University of California, Santa Cruz. The following are appreciated for their assistance in the study: Kristin Anderson, Jessica Alys, Desiree Atkins, Danna Barker, Michelle Bialon, Katie Boehm, Clover Bolton, Angela Boyd, Briana Carr, Grace Cho, Stephanie Corp, Amanda Crawford, Deverie DeMornay, Robyn Hannon, Keri Herscovitch, Aimee Jurewicz, John Leonard, Mary Luisi, Jenny McCloskey, Amanda Crawford, Dorothy Dichter, Bree Marchman, Danielle Marchman, Kimberly Martin, Jessica McGuire, Lara Meyer, Jennifer Michels, Dawn Mikolyski, Niosha Nafei, Kristen O’Shea, Mary Perugini, Winnie Poon, Freja Rasmussen, Rachael Robnett, Amy Rydell, Stacey Selevan, Christine Sparks, Martine Starita, Matilda St. John, Lise Torrey, Suzanne Toth, Julie Vierra, Kim Walter, and Jessica Young.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Research Involving Human Participants
The Institutional Review Board at the authors’ university reviewed and approved the research protocol.
Informed consent was secured from all participants.
- Baumgarte, R. (2002). Cross-gender friendship: The troublesome relationship. In R. Goodwin & D. Cramer (Eds.), Inappropriate relationships: The unconventional, the disapproved, and the forbidden (pp. 103–124). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
- Bukowski, W. M., Hoza, B., & Boivin, M. (1994). Measuring friendship quality during pre- and early adolescence: The development and psychometric properties of the friendship qualities scale. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 11(3), 471–484. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407594113011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Burleson, B. R. (2003). Emotional support skills. In J. O. Greene & B. R. Burleson (Eds.), Handbook of communication and social interaction skills (pp. 551–594). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
- Burleson, B. R., & MacGeorge, E. L. (2002). Supportive communication. In M. L. Knapp & J. A. Daly (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (3rd ed., pp. 374–424). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Burleson, B. R., Levine, B. J., & Samter, W. (1984). Decision-making procedure and decision quality. Human Communication Research, 10(4), 557–574. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.1984.tb00032.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Carli, L. L., & Bukatko, D. (2000). Gender, communication, and social influence: A developmental perspective. In T. Eckes & H. M. Trautner (Eds.), The developmental social psychology of gender (pp. 295–331). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
- Dindia, K. (2000). Sex differences in self-disclosure, reciprocity of self-disclosure, and self-disclosure and liking: Three meta-analyses reviewed. In S. Petronio (Ed.), Balancing the secrets of private disclosures (pp. 21–35). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
- Fleiss, J. L. (1981). Statistical methods for rates and proportions. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Galupo, M. P., Bauerband, L. A., Gonzalez, K. A., Hagen, D. B., Hether, S. D., & Krum, T. E. (2014). Transgender friendship experiences: Benefits and barriers of friendships across gender identity and sexual orientation. Feminism & Psychology, 24(2), 193–215. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959353514526218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gottman, J., Gottman, J. S., Greendorfer, A., & Wahbe, M. (2014). An empirically based approach to couples' conflict. In P. T. Coleman, M. Deutsch, & E. C. Marcus (Eds.), The handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice (3rd ed., pp. 898–920). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Hyde, J. S. (2005). The gender similarities hypothesis. American Psychologist, 60(6), 581-592.Google Scholar
- Kenny, D. A., Kashy, D. A., & Cook, W. L. (2006). Dyadic data analysis. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Kluwer, E. S., de Dreu, C. K. W., & Buunk, B. P. (1998). Conflict in intimate vs non-intimate relationships: When gender role stereotyping overrides biased self–other judgment. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15(5), 637–650. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407598155004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kray, L. J., & Babcock, L. (2006). Gender in negotiations: A motivated social cognitive analysis. In L. L. Thompson (Ed.), Frontiers of negotiation: Theory and research (pp. 203–224). Madison, CT: Psychosocial Press.Google Scholar
- Leaper, C. (2014). Gender similarities and differences in language. In T. Holtgraves (Ed.), Oxford handbook of language and social psychology (pp. 62–81). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199838639.013.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Louis, W. R., Stork-Brett, K. & Barlow, F. K. (2013). Friendships across gender and sexual identities. In R. Harré & F. M. Moghaddam (Eds.), The psychology of friendship and enmity: Relationships in love, work, politics, and war (pp. 89–108). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO.Google Scholar
- MacGeorge, E. L., Graves, A. R., Feng, B., Gillihan, S. J., & Burleson, B. R. (2004). The myth of gender cultures: Similarities outweigh differences in men’s and women’s provision of and responses to supportive communication. Sex Roles, 50(3–4), 143–175. https://doi.org/10.1037/t00748-000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mickelson, K. D., Helgeson, V. S., & Weiner, E. (1995). Gender effects on social support provision and receipt. Personal Relationships, 2(3), 211–224. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6811.1995.tb00087.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Monsour, M. (2002). Women and men as friends: Relationships across the life span in the 21st century. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Monsour, M., Betty, S., & Kurzweil, N. (1993). Levels of perspectives and the perception of intimacy in cross-sex friendships: A balance theory explanation of shared perceptual reality. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 10(4), 529–550. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407593104004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pennebaker, J. W., & Chung, C. K. (2014). Counting little words in big data: The psychology of individuals, communities, culture, and history. In J. P. Forgas, O. Vincze, & J. László (Eds.), Social cognition and communication (pp. 25–42). New York, NY: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Pickard, J., & Strough, J. (2003). Variability in goals as a function of same-sex and other-sex contexts. Sex Roles, 49(11–12), 643–652. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:SERS.0000003134.59267.82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Procsal, A. D., Demir, M., Doğan, A., Özen, A., & Sümer, N. (2015). Cross-sex friendship and happiness. In M. Demir (Ed.), Friendship and happiness: Across the life-span and cultures (pp. 171–185). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
- Pruitt, D. G., & Rubin, J. Z. (1986). Social conflict: Escalation, stalemate, and settlement. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
- Rose, S. M., & Hospital, M. M. (2017). Friendships across race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. In M. Hojjat & A. Moyer (Eds.), The psychology of friendship (pp. 75–91). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Rose, A. J., & Rudolph, K. D. (2006). A review of sex differences in peer relationship processes: Potential tradeoffs for the emotional and behavioral development of girls and boys. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 98–131. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.132.1.98.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Selman, R. L. (1989). Fostering intimacy and autonomy. In W. Damon (Ed.), Child development today and tomorrow (pp. 409–435). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Tardy, C. H., & Dindia, K. (2006). Self-disclosure: Strategic revelation of information in personal and professional relationships. In O. Hargie (Ed.), The handbook of communication skills (3rd ed., pp. 229–266). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Thorne, B., & Henley, N. (1975). Language and sex: Difference and dominance. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
- West, T. V., Popp, D., & Kenny, D. A. (2008). A guide for the estimation of gender and sexual orientation effects in dyadic data: An actor-partner interdependence model approach. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(3), 321–336. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167207311199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar