Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 2020, 23p.



Copyright © 2020 Jody Koenig Kellas, Jonathan Baker, Megan Cardwell, Mackensie Minniear, and Haley Kranstuber Horstman. Published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


Grounded in communicated narrative sense-making theory (CNSM), the purpose of the current study was to test the effects of storylisteners’ communicated perspective taking (CPT) on storytellers’ well-being and evaluations of storylisteners’ communication skills in the context of telling stories about difficulty. Pairs of friends (n = 37) engaged in a storytelling interaction in which one person told a story of a difficult life experience (DLE). Listeners’ CPT was rated by observers using the Communicated Perspective-Taking Rating System (CPTRS) and tellers reported on listeners’ behaviors and their own psychosocial health. Results indicate that observed CPT relates positively to tellers’ perceptions of listeners’ communication competence and CPT, and negatively to listeners’ perceived face threat. Particularly important were the identity validation, agreement, and affective tone dimensions of the CPTRS. The links between observed CPT and communication skills were moderated by the degree to which the DLE was considered upsetting, significant, and based on how often the DLE story had been told. Despite previous research, observed CPT was not related to psychosocial health in the current study.