Conflict Initiating Factors And Management Styles In Intergenerational Relationships In Family And Nonfamily Contexts: American Young Adults' Retrospective Written Accounts
Wiebe, Weston Tyler
University of Kansas
This item is protected by copyright and unless otherwise specified the copyright of this thesis/dissertation is held by the author.
MetadataShow full item record
Using a content analytic approach, this study examined American young adults' written accounts about their communication with older adults in conflict situations to uncover major conflict initiating factors and conflict management styles. In addition, this study examined how conflict initiating factors and management styles used by young and older adults vary depending on family and nonfamily intergenerational relationships. Following similar procedures in prior literature in interpersonal and intergenerational conflict management (Witteman, 1992; Sillars & Zietlow, 1993; Zhang, 2008; Zhang, Harwood, & Hummert, 2005; Zhang & Lin, 2009), conflict initiating factors and management styles were coded in separate passes. First, considering each intergenerational conflict scenario as a unit of analysis, the major conflict initiating factor (e.g., old-to-young criticism, young-to-old criticism, illegitimate demand, old-to-young rebuff, young-to-old rebuff, or disagreement/generation gap) was identified by focusing on the beginning stage of the intergenerational conflict reported by the young respondent. Second, the major conflict management styles (e.g., competing, avoiding, accommodating, or problem solving) used by young and older adults were identified by focusing on the communication exchanges between the young and older adult in each conflict scenario. Analysis of the conflict scenarios in intergenerational relationships revealed that old-to-young criticism was the most frequent conflict initiating factor in both family and nonfamily intergenerational relationships. Also, the competing style was used frequently by young and older adults in family intergenerational conflict across various initiating factors, especially for the young adults when there was a disagreement. In nonfamily intergenerational conflict, the competing style was also used frequently by both sides across initiating factors, especially when the conflict was initiated by old-to-young criticism. Finally, with overall high frequencies of the competing and avoiding styles, and low frequencies of accommodation and problem-solving styles, these conflict scenarios revealed a darker side of intergenerational communication. Major findings are discussed in light of prior literature in intergenerational communication and shared family identity, and interpersonal and intergroup conflict management.
- Communication Studies Dissertations and Theses 
- Theses 
Items in KU ScholarWorks are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
We want to hear from you! Please share your stories about how Open Access to this item benefits YOU.