Identity implications of relationship (Re)definition goals: An analysis of face threats and facework as young adults initiate, intensify, and disengage from romantic relationships

Steven R. Wilson, Adrianne D. Kunkel, Scott J. Robson, James O. Olufowote, Jordan Soliz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Identity implications theory (IIT) is applied to analyze how young adults manage identity concerns associated with the goals of initiating, intensifying, and disengaging from romantic relationships. Participants wrote their responses to one of six hypothetical romantic (re)definition scenarios, indicated whether they actually would pursue the relational goal if their scenario were real, and rated degree of threat to both parties' face. Responses were coded for positive and negative politeness strategies. Participants in different relational goal conditions perceived different face threats, varied in their likelihood of pursuing the relational goal, and employed different politeness strategies. Relationship (re)definition goal also moderated associations between perceived face threats and goal pursuit as well as politeness strategies. The findings show how multiple goal theories such as IIT can be applied to situations where relational goals are primary as well as how, to varying degrees, identity concerns shape and constrain how young adults pursue relational (re)definition goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-61
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

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young adult
politeness
Young Adult
threat
scenario
Romantic Relationships
Facework
Face Threat
Young Adults
Politeness Strategies
Identity Theory
Scenarios

Keywords

  • Face threats
  • Multiple goals
  • Politeness strategies
  • Relationship goals
  • Romantic relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Identity implications of relationship (Re)definition goals : An analysis of face threats and facework as young adults initiate, intensify, and disengage from romantic relationships. / Wilson, Steven R.; Kunkel, Adrianne D.; Robson, Scott J.; Olufowote, James O.; Soliz, Jordan.

In: Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Vol. 28, No. 1, 01.03.2009, p. 32-61.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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