Investigating the interplay between identity gaps and communication patterns in predicting relational intentions in families in the United States

Kaitlin E. Phillips, Andrew M. Ledbetter, Jordan Soliz, Gretchen Bergquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

We tested the degree to which identity gaps mediate the association between family communication patterns and relational intentions. Participants included 498 emerging adults from the United States. Both personal-enacted and relational-communal identity gaps mediated the relationship between conversation and conformity orientation and relational intentions. Moreover, family identification (the extent to which one feels a sense of connection with their family group) moderated the mediation effect, altering the relationship between the personal-enacted and relational-communal identity gaps and relational intentions. Such that, when family identification is low it does not buffer the negative effect of the relational-communal gap, and when it is high, it exacerbates the negative effect of the personal-enacted identity gap on relational intentions. Specifically, the direction of moderating effect of family identification was in opposite directions for these two identity gaps. The only direct effect was a curvilinear relationship between conformity and relational intentions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-611
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume68
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Keywords

  • Communication theory of identity (CTI)
  • Family communication patterns (FCP)
  • Family identification.
  • Identity gaps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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