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Attributions and Outcomes: Hurtful Communication in Families
Unformatted Document Text:  Attributions and Outcomes 7 Communicative Responses to Hurtful Communication How do people respond communicatively when they are hurt? Guerrero, Andersen, Jorgensen, Sptizberg, and Eloy (1995) have studied communicative responses to jealousy and developed a typology of response categories. Guerrero’s et al. (1995) system categorized communicative responses into the following categories: Active Distancing, which was characterized by such behaviors as pulling away physically or giving the other the silent treatment. Negative Affect Expression involved nonverbal behaviors indicative of emotions such as frustration, insecurity, and depression. Integrative Communication was typified by direct, non-aggressive communicative responses, such as calmly discussing the problem. Distributive Communication included verbally aggressive responses such as rudeness, accusations, arguing, and cursing. Avoidance/Denial Responses were characterized by behaviors like becoming quiet and denying negative feelings. Finally, Violent Communication/Threats responses included threatening or actually physically harming the other. Given the extensive nature of Guerrero’s et al. (1998) typology and the systematic testing it has received, the current study used Guerrero’s et al. (1995) categories of communicative responses to jealousy and applied it to the emotion of hurt. Rationale for Hypotheses The way people perceive of and respond to hurtful messages may be influenced by their attributions about their partner’s hurt-evoking communication. The fundamental attribution error refers to people’s tendency to attribute others’ negative behavior to dispositional, internally based causes while underestimating the importance of situational factors, and to attribute their own negative behavior to external rather than internal factors (Betancourt, 1990). Leary et al. (1998) documented this disparity by discovering that senders of hurtful messages often

Authors: Young, Stacy., Kubicka, Tara., Tucker, Caralyn., McCoy, Jamie., Kanaan, Kanaan., Johnson, Jarvis., Chavez-Appel, Desi. and Dinger, Michelle.
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Attributions and Outcomes
7
Communicative Responses to Hurtful Communication
How do people respond communicatively when they are hurt? Guerrero, Andersen,
Jorgensen, Sptizberg, and Eloy (1995) have studied communicative responses to jealousy and
developed a typology of response categories. Guerrero’s et al. (1995) system categorized
communicative responses into the following categories: Active Distancing, which was
characterized by such behaviors as pulling away physically or giving the other the silent
treatment. Negative Affect Expression involved nonverbal behaviors indicative of emotions such
as frustration, insecurity, and depression. Integrative Communication was typified by direct,
non-aggressive communicative responses, such as calmly discussing the problem. Distributive
Communication included verbally aggressive responses such as rudeness, accusations, arguing,
and cursing. Avoidance/Denial Responses were characterized by behaviors like becoming quiet
and denying negative feelings. Finally, Violent Communication/Threats responses included
threatening or actually physically harming the other. Given the extensive nature of Guerrero’s et
al. (1998) typology and the systematic testing it has received, the current study used Guerrero’s
et al. (1995) categories of communicative responses to jealousy and applied it to the emotion of
hurt.
Rationale for Hypotheses
The way people perceive of and respond to hurtful messages may be influenced by their
attributions about their partner’s hurt-evoking communication. The fundamental attribution error
refers to people’s tendency to attribute others’ negative behavior to dispositional, internally
based causes while underestimating the importance of situational factors, and to attribute their
own negative behavior to external rather than internal factors (Betancourt, 1990). Leary et al.
(1998) documented this disparity by discovering that senders of hurtful messages often


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