Despite a burgeoning literature about relational standards (i.e., individuals' ideals for what relationships should be like), little is known about the standards by which people judge communication in families. The 3 studies described in this article address several aspects of this gap in our understanding. First, through analytical induction of participants' descriptions of family communication standards, 15 different communication standards emerged. Two factor analyses based on these standards suggested that 10 distinct underlying dimensions describe participants' family communication standards. Second, individuals' endorsements of the various standards were compared with reports of their family's communication behaviors in order to determine whether the standards themselves (i.e., distressful ideals) or discrepancies between the standards and perceptions of behaviors (i.e., unmet ideals) were associated with individuals' satisfaction with their family. The findings suggested that both distressful ideals and unmet ideals are associated with family satisfaction. Third, certain family communication standards moderated the connection between perceptions of family behaviors and individuals' family satisfaction. The results were consistent with the notion that family communication standards are related to, but distinct from, general family communication schemata.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language