Walid A. Afifi is an assistant professor at the University of Delaware, Department of Communication. Judee K. Burgoon is a professor at the University of Arizona, Department of Communication. This study is part of the first author's Master's thesis, which was directed by the second author.
“We never talk about that”: A comparison of cross-sex friendships and dating relationships on uncertainty and topic avoidance
Article first published online: 20 MAY 2005
Volume 5, Issue 3, pages 255–272, September 1998
How to Cite
AFIFI, W. A. and BURGOON, J. K. (1998), “We never talk about that”: A comparison of cross-sex friendships and dating relationships on uncertainty and topic avoidance. Personal Relationships, 5: 255–272. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.1998.tb00171.x
- Issue published online: 20 MAY 2005
- Article first published online: 20 MAY 2005
Uncertainty Reduction Theory (URT) proposes that individuals have a need to reduce uncertainty and that elevated levels of uncertainty are associated with relational dissatisfaction. Research on cross-sex friendships suggests that these relationships may be characterized by elevated levels of uncertainty and topic avoidance. This investigation addresses the role of uncertainty as a theoretical construct that may be useful for explaining behavior in cross-sex friendships. Specifically, we address the relationship between uncertainty and topic avoidance, and compare cross-sex friendships and dating relationships on these variables. The results significantly extend past research on cross-sex friendships and suggest that uncertainty may often be tolerated in cases where the expected information is undesirable.