Depressive symptoms and relational uncertainty as predictors of reassurance-seeking and negative feedback-seeking in conversation

Leanne K. Knobloch, Lynne M. Knobloch-Fedders, C. Emily Durbin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Integrative interpersonal theory implies that relational uncertainty may play a role in the reassurance-seeking and negative feedback-seeking behavior of people with depressive symptoms. We sought to extend the theory by (a) documenting how individuals with depressive symptoms communicate under conditions of relational uncertainty, (b) evaluating actor and partner effects, and (c) utilizing observational measures of reassurance-seeking and negative feedback-seeking. Sixty-nine romantic couples engaged in 50 minutes of conversation rated by independent judges. Multilevel modeling results indicated that the depressive symptoms of actors and partners were the primary predictor of an actor's reassurance-seeking, but an actor's relational uncertainty was the primary predictor of an actor's negative feedback-seeking. The findings illuminate the interplay among depressive symptoms, relational uncertainty, and communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-462
Number of pages26
JournalCommunication Monographs
Volume78
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Negative feedback-seeking
  • Reassurance-seeking
  • Relational uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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