This study examines messages that problem disclosers and supportive listeners enact during conversations about everyday stressors. We coded 402 dyadic interactions between strangers, friends, and romantic couples using Stiles’s (1992) verbal response modes (VRM) and Burleson’s (1982) verbal person centeredness (PC) typology to explore whether (a) listener and discloser utterances coalesce into types of speaking turns, (b) listener turn types vary in person-centered quality, (c) listener turns relate to discloser responses, and (d) discloser responses relate to listener turns. Analyses revealed a typology for both listener and discloser turns: acknowledgment, advisement, question, elaboration, hedged disclosure, and reflection. The relative proportion of those types varied as a function of conversational role and relationship context, and these speech acts varied only minimally in PC. Configural frequency analyses revealed four greater-than-chance contingencies across data sets. The discussion highlights implications for a dyadic and dynamic understanding of supportive communication.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Grant 1749454 from the National Science Foundation funded this study.
© The Author(s) 2020.
- configural frequency analysis
- emotion regulation
- person centeredness
- social support
- supportive listening
- verbal response modes