CONVERSATIONAL DEVIANCE: A STRUCTURAL MODEL

Authors

  • KATHLEEN KELLEY REARDON

    1. Kathleen Kelley Reardon (Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, 1978) is an assistant professor of communication sciences at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06268.
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Abstract

Expectation violations are common interpersonal communication occurrences. A prerequisite of communication competence then is the ability to deal effectively with the unexpected in conversation. A structural model of existing relationships among variables considered important to children's ability to handle conversational deviance, specifically three successive turn-taking violations, was proposed and tested in this investigation. Children ranging in age from 3 years, 5 months to 11 years, 5 months served as subjects. Results of the study suggest that cognitive complexity plays an influential role in the development of children's ability to provide accounts for conversational deviance as well as the ability to provide alternative strategies for the completion of conversations disrupted by improper turn-taking. Social perspective-taking and communication adaptation ability appear to play less significant roles.

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