African American and European American Perceptions of Problematic Issues in Interethnic Communication Effectiveness

MICHAEL L. HECHT, Linda Larkey, JILL N.JOHNSON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

African American and European American perceptions of interethnic communication effectiveness were compared. Interethnic communication was conceptualized as a problematic event (perceptually organized into communication issues). Hypotheses proposed that ethnic identity would predict conversational issues which, in turn, would predict satisfaction. Nine issues salient to communication were derived from previous research: powerlessness, stereotyping, acceptance, goal attainment, authenticity, understanding, expressiveness, shared worldview, relational solidarity, and relaxation. The hypotheses were tested for differences between African Americans and European Americans with additional tests far relationship closeness. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the factorial validity of the issues and indicated that identity had both political and social dimensions for African Americans but only a single dimension for European Americans. Path analysis did not support the causal ordering. However, when the causal link between identity and issues was eliminated and satisfaction was regressed on the entire set of predictor variables the multiple Rs were above .91 for both ethnic groups. Different issues were associated with satisfaction for each group and for close and distant relationships for each ethnic group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-236
Number of pages28
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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