Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

The experience and expression of emotion within stepsibling relationships: Politeness of expression and stepfamily functioning

Emily Lamb Normand, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

While scholars agree there are emotional challenges associated with the divorce and remarriage process, little is known about how stepsiblings interact and manage the experience and expression of emotion within their stepfamily. The current investigation examined the frequency of experience, intensity, and expression of positive, strong negative, and weak negative emotion within stepsibling relationships over time. Using Politeness Theory as a framework, the study also investigated if an association existed between stepsiblings' use of politeness strategies during the expression of emotion and stepsiblings' perception of the quality of their relationship and their perception of the entire stepfamily. Participants were 187 stepsiblings who completed a self-report questionnaire consisting of both Likert-type items and open-ended questions. One-way repeated-measures ANOVAS were conducted with results indicating stepsiblings' experience and expression of emotion were a function of the stage of their relationship. In other words, stepsiblings experience and express more negative emotion and less positive emotion, during the early stages of the relationship. Upon completion of content analysis of the open-ended portion of the survey, results indicated stepsiblings did use politeness strategies during the expression of positive and negative emotion; however, using a Welch's ANOVA and a two-way contingency table no association was found between stepsiblings' use of politeness strategies and their perception of the quality of their relationship and their perception of the entire stepfamily. The researcher was able to provide a stepsibling emotional profile that shows stepsiblings are experiencing and expressing emotion differently than in most interpersonal relationships. Although no association was found between politeness and stepsiblings' perception of their relationship and their perception of the stepfamily, the development of a politeness strategy coding framework provides a useful tool for understanding what kind of politeness strategies stepsiblings use during emotional expression to mitigate threats to face. Future researchers can use both the emotion profile and coding framework for continued exploration of the emotional complexities involved in a variety of stepfamily relationships.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Speech Communication|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Lamb Normand, Emily, "The experience and expression of emotion within stepsibling relationships: Politeness of expression and stepfamily functioning" (2010). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3397862.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3397862

Share

COinS