Adolescents’ Perceptions of the Relative Importance of Selected Communication Skills in Their Positive Peer Relationships This study investigated the opinions of tenth grade adolescents with normal achievement concerning the relative importance of 14 communication skills in their positive peer relationships and explored whether or not the adolescents’ gender influenced their opinions about the importance of these skills. Results suggested that two skills were of relatively ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 01, 1995
Adolescents’ Perceptions of the Relative Importance of Selected Communication Skills in Their Positive Peer Relationships
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Felicity Mobbs Henry
    Hunter Brain Injury Rehabilitation Programme, Newcastle, Australia
  • Vicki A. Reed
    The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  • Lindy L. McAllister
    The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  • Contact author: Vicki A. Reed, EdD, School of Communication Disorders, The University of Sydney, P.O. Box 170, Lidcombe, NSW, 2141, Australia.
    Contact author: Vicki A. Reed, EdD, School of Communication Disorders, The University of Sydney, P.O. Box 170, Lidcombe, NSW, 2141, Australia.×
Article Information
Development / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 01, 1995
Adolescents’ Perceptions of the Relative Importance of Selected Communication Skills in Their Positive Peer Relationships
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1995, Vol. 26, 263-272. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2603.263
History: Received March 15, 1994 , Accepted August 11, 1994
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1995, Vol. 26, 263-272. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2603.263
History: Received March 15, 1994; Accepted August 11, 1994

This study investigated the opinions of tenth grade adolescents with normal achievement concerning the relative importance of 14 communication skills in their positive peer relationships and explored whether or not the adolescents’ gender influenced their opinions about the importance of these skills. Results suggested that two skills were of relatively high importance, four skills were of relatively low importance, and the remaining eight skills were of intermediate or variable importance. Communication skills closely associated with characteristics of empathy and primarily addressee-focused were ranked as either relatively high or intermediate/variable in importance. Those skills related to figurative and metalinguistic language and considered primarily speaker-focused were ranked as relatively low in importance. Communication skills related to discourse management were ranked as being either relatively intermediate/variable or low in importance. No significant differences were found between the overall rankings of the male and female adolescents. Discussion of the findings relates the results to suggestions in the literature concerning communication skills thought to be important for successful adolescent peer relationships, raises directions for further research, and presents implications for intervention.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors are grateful to Mark Onslow, Joan Rosenthal, and Chris Code, School of Communication Disorders, The University of Sydney, for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article. This study was based on an honor’s thesis completed in the School of Communication Disorders at The University of Sydney by the first author. A portion of the study was presented at the annual conference of the Australian Association of Speech and Hearing in May 1993.
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