As part of the growing effort to clarify the nature of goals in interpersonal communication contexts, the authors conducted two studies investigating the communication goals generated after problematic events in close relationships. In Study 1, a cluster analysis of 76 exemplar reasons for communicative responses to problematic events in close relationships identified seven categories of goals: maintain the relationship, accept fault for the event, manage positive face, avoid addressing the event, manage the conversation, manage emotion, and restore negative face. An examination of self-reported goals for responses to problematic events in dating relationships and friendships indicated that the most frequent goal was to accept fault for the event. Study 2 developed a 28-item inventory to evaluate the intensity of and relationships among goals after problematic events in close relationships. Analyses indicated that the goal to accept fault for the event was frequent and intense, whereas the goal to avoid addressing the event was infrequent and did not co-occur with the other goals. A second-order factor analysis provided preliminary evidence that the seven goals may be broadly categorized according to social versus nonsocial concerns.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language