Supportive communication

Susanne M. Jones, Graham D. Bodie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

37 Scopus citations


The study of supportive communication revolves around verbal and nonverbal behaviors that are enacted with the primary intention of improving the psychological state of another person. Since the early 1980s supportive communication has grown into a veritable field of study in interpersonal communication. In this chapter we present a critical review of the dominant research program in supportive communication, person-centered theory. We argue that person-centered theory has grown into a mature theory replete with a stable philosophical base from which a series of exciting theoretical and empirical programs can be launched. In support of our contention, we present a brief review of person-centered theory. We then present three novel research trajectories that advance our thinking about person-centered theory in supportive communication. We close with the presentation of one inspiring research exemplar: the role of listening in person-centered supportive communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInterpersonal Communication
PublisherWalter de Gruyter GmbH
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783110276794
ISBN (Print)9783110276428
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Cognitive appraisal
  • Comforting messages
  • Enacted support
  • Person-centered messages
  • Supportive communication
  • Well-being


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