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Exploring teenagers' accounts of bad communication: a new basis for intervention

By John Drury, Liza Catan, Catherine Dennison and Roz Brody

Abstract

Interventions to enhance young people's communication are rarely based on research into adolescent communication, but take a more general, analytic, skills-based approach. This paper argues that evidence of young people's communication experiences is an important resource to inform the targeting and content of interventions, which has hitherto been overlooked. An exploratory, hypothesis-generating study of teenagers' accounts of their communication experiences was carried out. Four thousand and forty-eight adolescents aged 13-19 described a recent communication experience with (i) a family member, (ii) a friend or (iii) a non-family adult (professional or official). Self-reported bad communication experiences outweighed good ones only in adolescents' communications with adults outside the family, and there were significant variations across contexts in terms of the purposes, explanations and attributions for perceived bad communication. Implications of the research for future interventions are discussed

Publisher: Journal of Adolescence
Year: 1998
OAI identifier: oai:sro.sussex.ac.uk:13771
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