Effects of Provider Identity and Locus of Supportive Conversation on Coping With an Identity-Threatening Stressor

Jenny L. Crowley, Andrew High

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Abstract

Guided by theory that posits outcomes of supportive interactions are shaped by source and message factors, this study examines two relevant features of interactions: the social identity of a support provider and locus of a supportive conversation. This study extends research on supportive communication by examining three possible identities of a provider (in-group, moderate out-group, out-group) alongside provider- or receiver-focused conversations. Participants (N = 200) coping with an identity-threatening stressor related to their college major engaged in an interaction with a confederate who manipulated their identity and locus of the conversation. Immediately following the supportive conversation, participants reported higher cognitive reappraisal when interacting with in-group and moderate out-group providers compared with out-group providers. Analyses revealed a disordinal interaction on internalized stigma, suggesting that the effects of provider- and receiver-focused messages depend on a provider’s identity. Interaction effects also persisted 3 weeks later.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCommunication Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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