Contrasting Control Styles in School Consultation

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Title: Contrasting Control Styles in School Consultation
Author: Schamberger, Megan Kate
Advisors: Dr. Mary E. Haskett, Committee Member
Dr. Ann C. Schulte, Committee Member
Dr. William P. Erchul, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to understand the various relational dimensions that characterize the process of behavioral consultation. A relational communication perspective emphasizes that within dyadic interactions (such as those that occur between a consultant and consultee); speakers are constantly redefining their roles, positions, and relationship through conversations (Erchul, Grissom, & Getty, 2008). Although communication researchers have emphasized several relational themes that emerge in dyadic interactions (e.g., trust, similarity, depth; Burgoon & Hale, 1984; Millar & Rogers, 1976, 1987), relational communication consultation studies have almost exclusively focused on the theme of relational control (i.e., dominance-submission). This exclusionary focus on relational control has neglected other important relational themes that may characterize consultant-consultee interactions. In this study, participants listened to consultation interviews in which consultants and consultees were characterized as either high or low dominance. After listening to the interviews, participants rated consultants and consultees on several relational dimensions (e.g., involvement, trust, similarity, depth, composure, formality). Results from this study suggest that several relational dimensions are present within consultant-consultee interactions. Additionally, the presence of relational dimensions varies based on both role (i.e., school psychologist or teacher) and level of dominance. In sum, results from this current study suggest that relational dimensions other than dominance are present in consultant-consultee interactions.
Date: 2008-04-02
Degree: MS
Discipline: Psychology

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