Explaining the Durable Effects of Verbal Person-Centered Supportive Communication: Indirect Effects or Invisible Support?

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Abstract

Researchers have documented benefits from receiving supportive messages high in verbal person-centeredness (VPC), but the processes through which such messages produce longitudinal effects remain unclear. This study evaluated two perspectives (i.e., indirect effects and invisible support) that address how supportive messages can produce durable effects and tested sex differences in those effects. 255 dyads completed a laboratory-based interaction in which level of VPC and sex of the support provider were manipulated. 3 weeks later, support receivers evaluated the conversations and their stressor. Variations in VPC produced durable effects both when messages were positively evaluated initially and when they were evaluated as supportive by providers or third-party observers but judged low in supportiveness by receivers. Provider sex moderated the results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-220
Number of pages21
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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