Some Consequences for Helpers Who Deliver “Cold Comfort”: Why it's Worse for Women than Men to be Inept When Providing Emotional Support

Authors: Holmstrom, Amanda1; Burleson, Brant2; Jones, Susanne3

Source: Sex Roles, Volume 53, Numbers 3-4, August 2005 , pp. 153-172(20)

Publisher: Springer

Buy & download fulltext article:

OR

Price: $47.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

Two experiments were conducted to assess whether responses to helpers who used insensitive emotional support vary as a function of the interaction between sex of participant and helper. We hypothesized that women would evaluate an insensitive female helper and her behavior more negatively than they would an insensitive male helper. In Experiment 1, participants (N = 137) read conversations in which male or female helpers sought to comfort emotionally distressed friends. In Experiment 2, participants (N = 87) engaged in face-to-face interactions in which they were comforted by either a male or female helper who used insensitive comforting messages. Overall, the results imply that women with deficient emotional support skills may be at high risk of rejection by same-sex peers.

Keywords: comforting; emotional support; gender role expectations; heuristic information processing; social skills; women's friendships

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11199-005-5676-4

Affiliations: 1: Department of Communication, Purdue University, 100 N. University Avenue, Beering Hall 2114, West Lafayette, 47907-2098, Indiana, Email: aholmstr@purdue.edu 2: Department of Communication, Purdue University, 100 N. University Avenue, Beering Hall 2114, West Lafayette, 47907-2098, Indiana, 3: Department of Communication Studies, University of Minnesota, Minnesota,

Publication date: August 1, 2005

Related content

Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page