Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Qingwen Dong

First Committee Member

Teresa Bergman

Second Committee Member

Graham Carpenter

Abstract

The importance of communication in every aspect of our lives cannot be understated, in many ways it is the foundation upon which society rests. As a result of communication being ubiquitous in nature, it becomes inevitable that at some point conflict will occur as competing ideas, world views, or beliefs are exchanged. This inevitability, therefore, necessitates researchers make attempts to better understand the role conflict tendencies can play in influencing communication variables that are generally understood to be pro-social. The researcher administered a questionnaire to 226 college students from one private university and three community colleges on the west coast using various modified scales examining tolerance for disagreement, verbal aggressiveness, self-esteem, communication competence, and evaluation apprehension. The data from the surveys were analyzed to determine whether the independent variables could in isolation or in combination serve as predictors for self-esteem, communication competence, and evaluation apprehension. The analysis revealed that tolerance for disagreement was significantly positively correlated with self-esteem and communication competence and was significantly negatively correlated with evaluation apprehension. Verbal aggressiveness was found to be significantly negatively correlated with communication competence and the construct of “Pro-Social Communication Outcomes” which combined all three dependent variables. The construct this work refers to as “Conflict Tendencies” which combines both independent variables was found to be significantly negatively correlated with communication competence and Pro-Social Communication Outcomes. Regression analysis showed that the combination of tolerance for disagreement and verbal aggressiveness demonstrated that tolerance for disagreement and verbal aggressiveness had some limited predicting power regarding self-esteem, communication competence, and evaluation apprehension. These results suggest that there are important relationships between communication variables associated with conflict and pro-social communication outcomes. Keywords: Conflict, Tolerance for Disagreement, Verbal Aggressiveness, Self-Esteem, Communication Competence, Evaluation Apprehension.

Pages

61

Included in

Communication Commons

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