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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Trimble, Joseph E.

Second Advisor

Czopp, Alex

Third Advisor

Devenport, Jennifer


Person by situation, or interactional, psychology predicts that an individual's anxiety will vary across situations. Past studies noted that anxiety increased the likelihood that an individual sought others for social support. Anxiety also affected the method of communication used by individuals. According to the richness model of anxiety, higher anxiety scores are associated with indirect or low richness methods of communication and lower anxiety scores are associated with direct or high richness methods of communication. This study used a person by situation approach to examine both whom participants sought and the method of communication used when presented with potentially anxiety-inducing interpersonal situations. Participants took part in a survey that consisted of a revised Taylor's Manifest Anxiety Scale, Stimulus-Response Anxiety Inventory, and questions that required participants to report the role of the primary social support provider the participant would seek and the method of communication they would use to communicate with the primary social support provider. Anxiety scores associated with seeking primary social support providers were not significantly different within any situation nor did anxiety scores follow the richness model of anxiety. Regardless of the situation or anxiety, participants frequently sought friends and parents. Participants preferred high richness methods of communication regardless of situation or anxiety, which did not support the richness model of anxiety.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

College students--Psychology; College students--Social networks; Stress (Psychology); Interpersonal communication




masters theses




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