Interactive Behaviors in Adolescent Conversation Dyads Purpose: Verbal and nonverbal conversational behaviors often are the target of intervention for adolescents with social communication disorders. There are, however, few sources of data on the interactive conversational behaviors of typically developing adolescents that can be used as guidelines when working with clinical populations. The purpose of this study ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2003
Interactive Behaviors in Adolescent Conversation Dyads
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lyn Turkstra
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Angela Ciccia
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Christine Seaton
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Contact author: Lyn Turkstra, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, 11206 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-7154.
    Contact author: Lyn Turkstra, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, 11206 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-7154.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: ls2@po.cwru.edu
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2003
Interactive Behaviors in Adolescent Conversation Dyads
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2003, Vol. 34, 117-127. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2003/010)
History: Received January 8, 2002 , Accepted December 21, 2002
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2003, Vol. 34, 117-127. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2003/010)
History: Received January 8, 2002; Accepted December 21, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 18

Purpose: Verbal and nonverbal conversational behaviors often are the target of intervention for adolescents with social communication disorders. There are, however, few sources of data on the interactive conversational behaviors of typically developing adolescents that can be used as guidelines when working with clinical populations. The purpose of this study was to collect behavioral data from conversations of adolescents so as to provide comparison data for adolescents with communication disorders.

Method: Conversational behaviors were measured in 50 typically developing African American and Caucasian adolescents (24 females, 26 males) from the Midwest United States who engaged in extemporaneous, 3-minute conversations in dyads with peers. The effects of age, race, and sex of the participant were assessed.

Results: Behaviors occurring at relatively high frequencies included directing gaze at the partner, particularly during listening; nodding and showing neutral and positive facial expressions; using back-channel responses; and giving contingent responses. Participants rarely showed negative emotions, turned away from each other, asked for clarification, or failed to answer questions. Overall, there were few effects of race and sex of the speaker and greater variability within than between groups.

Clinical Implications: The data may serve as a source of information for clinicians serving individuals with communication disorders, with the caveat that the conversations included here represent a subset of typical adolescent interactive conversational behaviors.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This work was supported by Grant DC-00163 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health to the first author. The participation of Christine Seaton was made possible by the efforts of Ms. Judith Lachvayder of Parma High School. The authors wish to thank Dr. Eric Youngstrom for sharing his video analysis resources and expertise; Dr. Mary Step for her communication studies perspective; and Molly McGraw, Kat Spindler, and Joelle DiPadova for their contribution to data analysis.
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