The Influence of Cultural and Situational Contexts on Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Communication Competence Behaviors

Judith N. Martin, Mitchell R. Hammer, Lisa Bradford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


This study investigates the influence of context on judgments of communication competence behaviors in two different cultural groups in the United States. Two hundred and twenty-five Hispanic Americans and 209 white non-Hispanic Americans were asked to rate the relative importance of communication behaviors in creating impressions of communicative competence in four different contexts: An intracultural social situation, an intracultural task situation, an intercultural social situation and an intercultural task situation. Exploratory factor analysis and subsequent confirmatory factor analyses confirmed similar factor structures for both culture groups on eight verbal and nonverbal dimensions of competent behaviors. Results of multiple analysis of variance tests revealed similarity and differences between the two groups in their judgments of communication competence behaviors. Specifically, both groups reported that Language Adaptability and Cultural Topics were more important in intercultural than intracultural contexts. However, there were contrasting patterns in nonverbal behaviors. Hispanics reported that it is most important to exhibit nonverbal behaviors when socializing with someone from another culture and when working with someone from their own ethnic culture. Non-Hispanics reported that it is most important to exhibit these behaviors when socializing with someone from their own ethnic culture and when working with someone from another culture. The results are discussed and implications for future research delineated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-179
Number of pages20
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1994



  • communication behaviors
  • communication competence
  • Hispanic communication
  • intercultural communication
  • intracultural communication
  • nonverbal communication
  • verbal communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

Cite this