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A Meta-Analytical Review of Family Communication Patterns and their Associations with Information Processing, Behavioral, and Psychosocial Outcomes

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This meta-analysis reviews the findings of 56 studies (n=19,745) examining the associations among family communication patterns (i.e., conversation and conformity orientations) and information-processing, behavioral, and psychosocial outcomes. When both conversation and conformity orientations are considered collectively, the cumulative evidence indicates a small, but meaningful relationship between family communication patterns and overall outcomes (r=.285). Similar overall effect sizes were observed for conversation (r=.262) and conformity orientations (r=.253), though the average effect size for conversation orientation and psychosocial outcomes (r=.460) was greater in magnitude than those obtained for information processing (r=.238) or behavioral outcomes (r=.276). Slightly larger effect sizes were observed when researchers used the Revised Family Communication Patterns scale (r=.332) as compared with the Family Communication Patterns scale (r=.261), though this difference in magnitude was statistically non-significant. Collectively, the results suggest that family communication patterns have a meaningful association with a variety of cognitive activities and relational behaviors, as well as individual well-being.

Keywords: Conflict Behaviors; Conformity Orientation; Conversation Orientation; Family Communication Patterns; Information Processing; Psychosocial

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-09-01

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