Mapping the terrain of person-centered supportive conversations

Susanne M. Jones, Graham D. Bodie, Lucas Youngvorst, Michael Navarro, Carly Danielson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study explores the conversational terrain of supportive conversations that vary in person centeredness (PC). Our team transcribed and unitized 223 conversations in which a discloser talked about an upsetting event to a listener trained to exhibit either low (LPC), moderate (MPC), or highly person-centered (HPC) comfort. Each utterance was coded for PC with a modified version of the traditional nine-level hierarchy. HPC-coded turns comprised 24% of HPC conversations, while LPC-coded turns comprised almost half of LPC conversations. Over 95% of turns in MPC conversations were classified as MPC. Additionally, turn-level coding and global ratings of PC differentially predicted outcomes. We discuss the implications of these conversational profiles in the context of how the PC content of conversations might aid in cognitive reappraisal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-490
Number of pages24
JournalCommunication Monographs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Graham D. Bodie (Ph.D., Purdue University) is an internationally recognized expert on listening whose work has been funded by, among others, the National Science Foundation. He is currently Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 National Communication Association.


  • Emotional support
  • enacted support
  • person centeredness
  • supportive conversations


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