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CAS 406H - The Communication of Social Support

This course is an honors seminar focused on the theory, concepts, and processes related to the communication of social support. A major emphasis is placed on social support from a perspective of interpersonal communication and social science scholarship; however, some sociological and psychological conceptions of social support will also be considered. Areas covered include factors that distinguish multiple types of supportive messages, gender differences in support, multiple contexts for support (e.g., online, face-to-face), theories of supportive communication, and factors that influence people’s ability or motivation to process supportive messages. Upon completion of this course, the student should have knowledge of the complexity of comforting interactions and a better understanding of the research tradition related to this topic.

Course Objectives

  1. To become familiar with the appropriate language and terminology of research on supportive communication.
  2. To understand how multiple factors interact to influence people’s perceptions of supportive interactions.
  3. To be able to articulate the similarities and differences among various theories or approaches to studying supportive communication.
  4. To understand how different types of social support are communicated.

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