Date of Award

2012

Degree Name

Communication Studies

College

College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree

M.A.

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Cynthia B. Torppa

Second Advisor

Camilla A. Brammer

Third Advisor

Stephen D. Cooper

Abstract

As more and more interpersonal communication is being conducted via mediated communication channels, important theoretical questions about the impact of this shift in the use of communication media are raised. This study began the process of exploring the implications of the shift in channels used in interpersonal communication situations by examining several factors that previous research has linked to important aspects of relationship development and maintenance. Specifically, respondents were surveyed about their preferred channel of communication in four types of interpersonal communication situations that reflect varying levels of interpersonal comfort in association with communication locus of control scale (CLOC) scores. Respondents were college students living in the residence halls at Marshall University. Findings indicated there was a slight significant correlation between communication locus of control and channel preference with respondents who reported an internal CLOC preferring face-toface interactions. Results indicated clear channel preferences for face-to-face communication in communication situations that involved communicating emotional support, conflict, and sharing positive news, but a preference for text messaging when coordinating schedules. Finally, a small interaction effect between type of situation and CLOC was found, but only for the situation in which communicators had good news to share.

Subject(s)

College students - Communication.