COMMUNICATION NETWORKS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS An Expansion Of Uncertainty Reduction Theory

Authors

  • MALCOLM R. PARKS,

    1. Malcolm R. Parks (Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1976) is an assistant professor of speech communication at the University of Washington.
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  • MARA B. ADELMAN

    1. Mara B. Adelman (M.A., San Diego State University, 1980) is a doctoral candidate in speech communication at the University of Washington.
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Abstract

This study sought to expand uncertainty reduction theory (Berger & Calabrese, 1975) by exploring network and dyadic correlates of uncertainty and stability in premarital romantic relationships. Respondents completed questionnaires and participated in telephone interviews three months later. Results generally showed that respondents experienced less uncertainty about their romantic partners and were less likely to break up when they communicated more often with their partners' family and friends, received greater support for their romantic relationship from family and friends, communicated more often with their partners, and perceived greater similarity to their partners. Uncertainty combined with the other variables to predict break ups over the three-month period with almost 90% accuracy. However, the presence of collinear lies, the global focus of the study, and the inadequate data base for longitudinal analysis placed several limitations on the findings. These limitations are discussed in terms of the need for more specific research and further theoretical development.

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