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Serial argument topics.

Recurring arguments have the potential to disturb or re-route the normal flow of relationships. Whether such arguments occur in friendships, romantic relationships, professional relationships, or family relationships, their resurfacing indicates unresolved matters among arguers, including accumulated frustrations, negative feelings, and resentment. These arguments have been labeled serial arguments (Trapp & Hoff, 1985). Recent research has paid attention to these exchanges in a variety of contexts or relationship types (e.g., Bevan, 2010, 2014; Hample & Allen, 2012; Hample & Krueger, 2011; Hample & Cionea, 2012; Hample & Richards, 2015; Hample, Richards, & Na, 2012; A. Johnson, Averbeck, Kelley, & Liu, 2011; Radanielina-Hita, 2010). Research has also examined various aspects of the serial arguing process, from psychological well-being, to goals arguers pursue in such exchanges, and effects these arguments have on arguers' relationship (e.g., Bevan, Finan, & Kaminsky, 2008; Bevan, Hale, & Williams, 2004; Bevan, Tidgewell, Bagley, Cusanelli, Hartstern, Holbeck, & Hale, 2007; A. Johnson & Cionea, in press; K. Johnson & Roloff, 1998, 2000a, 2000b; Malis & Roloff, 2006a, 2006b). However, little research (an exception is Bevan, Hefner, & Love, 2014) has paid attention to the topics of such arguments. Two ways of thinking about serial argument topics should be productive: distinguishing among topic types and between disagreement types.

The topic type distinction has well-established importance for arguing. A. Johnson (2002, 2009, 2011) found that whether an argument is about a personal matter or about a public matter affects who argues about each topic, arguers' level of involvement, and the stakes of the argument. Applied to serial arguments, this finding suggests that arguments in friendships may differ from serial arguments in romantic relationships; or arguers may be more involved in personal serial arguments than in public serial arguments. Though they were not quite implementing A. Johnson's categories of topic types, K. Johnson and Roloff (1998) found that serial arguments arising from violated expectations (probably personal topics) were perceived as less resolvable than arguments arising from other issues, but that arguments arising from differences in perceptions or values (possibly personal or public topics) did not differ from arguments in which such differences did not exist. These results suggest that resolvability (and perhaps other variables, too) may differ based on the topic's nature.

Other topic distinctions have been made previously, including that of disagreement type. Newell and Stutman (1988) characterized social confrontation episodes as involving either disagreements over behaviors or ideas. In the serial argument context, this distinction and consequent findings suggest that repetitive arguments about behaviors may unfold differently and have distinct consequences for the two arguers as compared to disagreements over ideas. The latter may be less harmful, potentially shorter, or less frequent than the former. Thus, knowledge about whether and/or how types of topics affect the serial argument process and arguers' behaviors can contribute more detail to the literature on this subject. Moreover, such knowledge may extend beyond serial arguments, as Bevan et al. (2014) found that topics of argument in romantic relationships did not differ based on whether the argument was serial or nonserial.

This manuscript investigates topics of serial arguments that occur in a variety of relationships. Argument topics are coded in light of the topic and disagreement distinctions mentioned to examine their possible relationships with several variables studied in the context of serial arguments: goals, tactics, and outcome measures (i.e., resolvability, civility, and satisfaction). In addition, potential differences based on individuals' sex are examined.


Newell and Stutman (1988) distinguished between forms of disagreements (i.e., arguments). Disagreements over behaviors deal with a difference in the status quo that prevents a person from achieving his or her goals. For example, if someone wanted to go out with his or her friend, but the latter did not answer the phone, an argument with the friend could express frustration about not being able to accomplish the goal of spending time together. Disagreements over ideas involve a difference as well, but the purpose of a confrontation is not necessarily resolution; such exchanges may be pursued for fun, and may end without any resolution (Newell & Stutman, 1988). For example, if two friends argued about which sports team was best, their argument would not necessarily have to reach a conclusion. They may never change each other's minds, but they could argue about this topic frequently to amuse themselves.

This original distinction was complemented by A. Johnson's (2002) distinction between two types of topics in an argument: personal topics (i.e., issues directly related to the relationship between arguers, such as household chores or hurt feelings) and public topics (i.e., issues outside the arguers' relationship, such as politics or sports). A. Johnson, Hample, and Cionea (2014) detailed the typical differences these two topic types have on arguments. For example, one's level of involvement is generally higher in personal arguments and the stakes are probably also higher compared to public arguments. In addition to this distinction, we propose a third type category of topic type in this paper: professional topics (i.e., issues directly related to professional matters, the execution of one's job, work performance, or work-related tasks, such as scheduling, work compensation, and responsibilities in the workplace). This type of argument is likely to occur in the workplace and may affect organizational climate or group interactions. The examination of professional serial argument topics extends the literature on argumentation and organizational communication.

To our knowledge, only a few studies have explicitly explored the behavior/idea and personal/public topic distinction. In the current report, we examine them in the context of previously studied serial argument variables. Specifically, individuals' inclination to approach arguments, argument goals (i.e., the end states people wish to achieve in serial arguments), argument tactics (i.e., the strategies people use to reach those desired end states), and outcomes, such as perceived resolvability, relational satisfaction, and civility, are examined.

First, approach, which assesses respondents' motivation to engage in a serial argument, is examined. Approach is a general impulse that becomes more concrete in the form of specific goals individuals pursue. Argument goals (Bevan et al., 2004; Bevan et al., 2007) include two positive ones, four negative ones, and one that can be either positive or negative, depending on the final outcome of the serial argument. Positive expressiveness and mutual understanding are the positive goals; negative expressiveness, dominance, the aim to change the target, and the intention to hurt the other to benefit one's self are the negative goals; and surveillance of the relationship to decide relational continuation is the ambivalent goal. Tactics analyzed in serial arguments have included integrative tactics (aimed at mutually satisfactory solutions) and distributive tactics (aimed at gains at the other person's expense). Two other tactics examined are included in the demand/withdraw pattern. In one, the respondent demands and the other person withdraws, whereas in the other the other person demands and the respondent withdraws. Finally, three outcome measures were used in several serial argument studies and are included in this report as well: the argument's perceived resolvability, the degree of civility with which the argument was conducted, and the climate/satisfaction at the end of the argument.

These considerations lead us to more specific expectations about the role of topic type for several of these processes. First, topic type (personal or public) is expected to affect several argument variables. Personal topics were found to be more involving than public ones (A. Johnson, 2002) and to have higher stakes than public ones (A. Johnson, 2009). Bevan et al. (2014) found that the most frequently reported topics in a serial (or nonserial) argument were personal issues, such as problematic behaviors/personality characteristics, jealousy, communication, negotiating quality or leisure time, and intimacy/sex. Such topics are directly connected to the relationship between arguers, so they are likely to engage positive goals more than negative goals because negativity may damage the relationship (assuming a continuing commitment to the relationship). Furthermore, personal issue arguments are likely to involve constructive tactics to a greater extent than distributive tactics that could damage the relationship between arguers. Finally, the argument topic distinction is likely to be associated with differences in outcome measures. Personal topic arguments are likely to differ in terms of civility from public topic arguments; because of their greater involvement in the episodes, people probably raise their voices and express more negativity when they argue about their feelings and relational issues than when they argue about the next presidential election candidates or the best restaurant in town.

Second, disagreement type (behavior or ideas) is also expected to affect serial argument variables. Disagreements over behaviors involve the actions of one of the participants. Because these arguments originate in one person's objection to the other's behavior, such disagreements are likely to involve the expression of more negativity, demands for change, revenge (in the case of hurtful behaviors), and questions regarding the viability of the relationship when compared to disagreements over ideas. They are also likely to invite the enactment of the demand/withdraw pattern, which might reflect an attack/defense dynamic. Finally, they are likely to involve less civility than disagreements over ideas, given that they include critiques of the other person's behavior.

Third, although the two topic classifications are conceptually different, some overlap exists between them. Many of Newell and Stutman's (1988) examples suggest that disagreements about behaviors are likely to be arguments about personal topics, whereas disagreements about ideas are probably arguments about public topics. In other words, discussing politics or sports involves discussing issues that do not pertain directly to the relationships between the two arguers and that do not necessarily involve a resolution. Disagreeing about the other person's cleaning habits or expressing frustration about one's partner being late is the result of a behavior; hence it is a disagreement about behaviors. However, arguments about personal topics can also include other issues, besides behaviors, such as attitudes about one's partner or understandings of relational definitions. So, disagreements about behaviors are not entirely equivalent to personal topics. It is also possible that behaviors might involve public issues (e.g., attendance at a city council meeting). Furthermore, disagreements about ideas might correspond well to public issues, if the idea itself is one from the public domain, such as violence in sports, or respect for other religions. However, if the idea is a more person-centered one, such as the value of exclusivity in romantic relationships or whether marriage is an outmoded custom, the disagreement about ideas may be a personal topic. Thus, it is possible that topic type and disagreement type are associated.

Finally, some studies on serial arguments have identified differences between men and women in respect to variables examined in the context of such arguments. Hample and Allen (2012) found several sex differences in respect to serial argument goals and tactics. Men had a higher motivation than women to approach arguments when they were the initiators of a serial argument episode, and also believed that hurting the other while benefiting the self was more important than women did. Women believed more than men that the goals of mutual understanding, negative expressiveness, and changing the other were important to pursue during an episode. They also reported the use of integrative tactics more than men did. In another study, despite previous reports that women demanded more while men withdrew, Radanielina-Hita (2010) did not find any such differences. These results suggest that serial argument behaviors may also differ in respect to the type or number of topics that men and women argue about in serial arguments.

Although we have expressed some specific expectations in the case of several variables, overall, it seems more appropriate to pose our research aims as questions, given the lack of previous studies examining the topic and disagreement type distinctions in the context of serial arguments. The following are thus proposed:

RQ1: Does topic type relate to differences in argument goals, tactics, or outcomes in serial arguments?

RQ2: Does disagreement type relate to differences in argument goals, tactics, or outcomes in serial arguments?

RQ3: Is there an interaction effect between topic type and disagreement type that is related to differences in argument goals, tactics, or outcomes in serial arguments?

RQ4: Is there a difference in topic type or disagreement type based on individuals' biological sex?


This study is a secondary data analysis. Data were taken from previously published studies and cumulated. These studies include a study of serial arguments in classrooms (n = 342; Hample & Krueger, 2011), a study of serial arguments in workplaces (n = 363; Hample & Allen, 2012), a longitudinal study of serial arguments in close relationships [n = 213; only the first instance of the serial argument is used in this analysis; Hample, Richards, & Na, 2012), a study of serial arguments in interethnic close relationships (n = 630; Hample & Cionea, 2012), and a study of serial arguments in close relationships [n = 698; Hample & Richards, 2015). Undergraduates enrolled in communication courses at a large Mid-Atlantic university completed an online questionnaire and received extra credit for participation in all studies.

Several of these previous studies included unique variables or conditions that are omitted in this report. Each of the earlier studies gives specific information about the demographics and psychometrics for each individual sample. Table 1 presents the cumulated descriptive statistics and scale information. The measures combined here used identical instrumentation in all studies, with one exception. One of the outcome variables-variously called classroom climate, organizational climate, or relational satisfaction-was adapted to the specific conditions of each study, and used different numbers of items with rewordings suitable to the study's context. The measure consistently reflected the effects of the serial argument on a respondent's global satisfaction with the relationship in which the argument occurred. These measures are collected in this report under one measure called climate.

All previous studies requested that respondents describe what initially happened in the serial argument they were reporting. No analysis of these open-ended responses has been conducted prior to this study. Pairs of coders coded the open-ended descriptions (N = 2,246) in each data set for two variables. The first, topic type, classified the argument episodes into public (n = 258), personal (n = 1,411), professional (n = 494), or unclassifiable (n = 83) topics. Inter-coder reliability across data sets, assessed with Cohen's kappa, was .91, indicating almost perfect agreement (Landis & Koch, 1977). The second variable, disagreement type, classified the arguments into disagreements over behavior (n = 1,216), disagreement over ideas (n = 892), or unclassifiable (n = 138). Cohen's kappa across data sets was .80, also indicating almost perfect agreement (Landis & Koch, 1977). In both coding systems, the answers coded as unclassifiable received those codes because respondents did not provide sufficient information for coders to be able to understand the argument's topic.


To answer the first three research questions, topic type, and disagreement type were entered as independent variables, and approach, argument goals, tactics, and outcome measures were entered as dependent variables in a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Missing or unclassifiable data were excluded when performing this analysis.

Public, Professional, and Personal Topics (RQ1)

In response to RQ1, significant differences based on topic type (public, personal, or professional) existed for approach [F(2, 2085) = 11.81, p < .001, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .01], positive expressiveness F(2, 2085) = 150.85, p < .001, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .13], mutual understanding [F(2, 2085) = 16.58, p < .001, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .02], negative expressiveness [F(2, 2085) = 3.78, p < .05, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .004], dominance F(2, 2085) = 16.91, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .02], hurting the other person [F(2, 2085) = 15.52, p < .001, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .02], integrative tactics [F(2, 2085) = 36.89, p < .001, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .03], distributive tactics F(2, 2085) = 17.87, p < .001, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .02], resolvability [F(2, 2085) = 7.01, p < .01, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .01], civility [F[2, 2085) = 5.05, p < .01, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .01], and climate [F(2, 2085) = 6.19, p < .01, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .01]. Post-hoc multiple comparisons (based on Tukey's HSD) were also conducted. Means, standard deviations, and significant differences (indicated with subscripts) are presented in Table 2.

The results for approach indicated that people were mostly inclined to approach public arguments, followed by professional arguments, and then personal arguments. In respect to goals, people expressed positive feelings most when arguing about personal topics, followed by public topics, and, finally, by professional topics. People were concerned with mutual understanding and relational continuation the most when arguing about personal topics, followed by professional topics, and then by public topics. In respect to negative goals, people tended to express negativity more when arguing about personal topics, followed by professional topics, and, finally, public topics. The same pattern emerged in respect to changing the target. In contrast, respondents tended to display more dominance when arguing about public topics and professional topics as compared to personal topics. Hurting the other was more important when arguing about professional topics than when arguing about public topics, but less important than when the argument was about personal topics.

In respect to tactics, arguers demanded more in professional and personal arguments than in public ones. People tended to rely on integrative tactics in personal arguments more than in public or professional arguments. The opposite occurred for distributive tactics; people relied on them more in professional and public arguments and least in personal arguments.

Finally, differences also emerged for outcomes. Civility was higher in public arguments, followed by personal arguments, and by professional arguments. Resolvability was higher in personal arguments, followed by professional arguments, and by public arguments. Climate was most positive when the argument was about public issues, with personal topics also creating a more favorable climate than professional ones.

In sum, our answer to RQ1 is that topic type was associated with differences in serial argument goals, tactics, and outcomes. Several of the positive goals (as well as the negative expressiveness goal), tactics, and outcomes increased when the topic was a personal one. These results generally suggest that people approach personal arguments differently than public or professional ones.

Disagreements about Behaviors or Ideas (RQ2)

Disagreement type had fewer effects than topic type. In response to RQ2, we found that significant differences based on disagreement type (behaviors or ideas) existed in relational continuation [F(1, 2085) = 5.09, p < .05, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .002], negative expressiveness [F(1, 2085) = 4.50, p < .05, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .002], changing the target [F(1, 2085) = 26.75, p < .001, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .01], self-demand/other-withdraw [F(1, 2085) = 7.18, p < .01, partial if = .003], civility [F(1, 2085) = 4.07, p < .05, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .002], and climate [F(1, 2085) = 13.58, p < .001, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .01]. Means and standard deviations are presented in Table 3.

Those who disagreed about behaviors reported pursuing the goals of relational continuation, negative expressiveness, and changing the target more than those who disagreed about ideas. In addition, the behavior-focused individuals also reported demanding more while the other person withdrew. That certain behaviors form the object of a serial argument and elicit greater pursuit of these three goals seems reasonable. If one is interested in determining whether or not to continue a relationship, one may attempt to change another person's bothersome behaviors by expressing frustration and also by demanding. The outcomes of such arguments are less civil and less satisfactory than those of disagreements about ideas. Thus, we answer RQ2 by concluding that several differences existed primarily between some of the goals and outcomes when an argument was about behaviors versus ideas.

Topic and Disagreement Types (RQ3) Prior to testing for the existence of any interaction effects, we examined the association between topic type and disagreement type. According to Cramer's V, whose value was .47, p < .001, the two variables share a strong association, which corresponds to the conceptual overlap the two typologies are believed to have. This result is reasonable given previous observations that disagreements about behaviors tend to be expressed in personal arguments, whereas disagreements about ideas tend to be encountered in public arguments. To answer RQ3, we examined the interaction between topic type and disagreement type in the MANOVA. Several small, but significant, interactions existed for approach, [F(2, 2085) = 3.69, p < .05, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .004], negative expressiveness [F(2, 2085) = 3.50, p < .05, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .003], dominance [F[2, 2085) = 3.12, p < .05, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .003], changing the target [F[2, 2085) = 3.46, p < .05, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .003], and climate [F[2, 2085) = 3.98, p < .05, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .004]. Means and standard deviations are presented in Table 4. Significant interactions are represented in Figures 1 to 5. Disagreements about ideas, whether public or professional, were approached more than those about behaviors, except when the disagreements were about personal issues, in which case those about behaviors were approached slightly more than those about ideas. Expressing negativity increased when the argument was about behaviors, from the public, to the professional, to the personal topics but increased from the public to the professional topic when the disagreement was about ideas, after which, in the personal topic, the importance of expressing negativity decreased. Dominance was higher when the argument was a public one about ideas as compared to a public one about behaviors but it was higher when the argument was a professional or personal one about behaviors as compared to a professional or personal one about ideas. The goal of changing the target varied in importance across the three topic types depending on whether the disagreement was about behaviors or about ideas. In arguments over behavior, changing the target was the most important for public issue arguments, and least important for professional ones. In arguments over ideas, changing the target was the least important in public issue arguments, and the most important in professional ones. Finally, when the disagreement was about behaviors, climate improved across the three topic types, from public to professional to personal arguments. When the disagreement was over ideas, climate fluctuated from highest when the topic was a public one, to lowest when it was a professional one.

So, our answer to RQ3 is that disagreement type and topic type interacted in respect to people's impulse to approach an argument and several of the negative goals as well as the outcome measure of climate. These results suggest that negative goal pursuit and the effects of serial arguments are context-specific to a certain extent.

Sex Differences (RQ4)

In response to RQ4, Cramer's V was used to test whether a significant difference existed in topic type based on individuals' sex and the Phi statistic was used to assess whether disagreement types differed based on sex. A very weak association existed between topic type and sex, Cramer's V = .10, p < .001, in that women reported arguing about public [n = 147) and about professional (n = 363) topics significantly more than men (n = 111 for public, and n = 131 for professional topics). Similarly, a very weak association existed between disagreement type and sex, Phi = .10, p < .001. Women reported arguing about both disagreements over behaviors [n = 896) and over ideas (n = 575) significantly more than men [n = 320 for disagreements over behaviors, and n = 317 for disagreements over ideas). So, our answer to RQ4 is that women tended to engage slightly more than men in serial arguments that involved a public or professional matter, regardless of whether the disagreement was about behaviors or ideas.


The results of our investigation revealed several features of serial argument topics. First, most serial arguments were about personal topics and behaviors. Nonetheless, people were more inclined to approach arguments about public topics and arguments about ideas, and these were also more civil. It seems that such arguments are perceived to differ from personal or professional arguments: perhaps more in the form of a debate or a discussion than a quarrel or an air-out of problems.

Positive goals (mutual understanding and positive expressiveness) were the most important in personal arguments (as compared to public or professional arguments), as was relational continuation. Negative goals had a more scattered pattern. Expressing negativity and changing the other person were more important for personal arguments followed by professional arguments and public arguments, whereas dominance and hurting the other person appeared to be less important for personal arguments. The tentative conclusion here is that people seem to adopt more positive, constructive approaches to serial arguments about personal issues. These arguments affect their relationships to a greater extent (by definition), so more care and concern is taken about how such arguments evolve, given the higher relational stakes.

This care was also reflected in the tactics people reported using, with more reliance on integrative tactics in personal arguments as compared to both professional and public arguments, and less reliance on distributive tactics in the former as compared to the latter arguments. However, people were more demanding in their personal and professional arguments than in public ones. Individuals may default to demanding when they want the other party to do something. The urgency or importance of the situation makes people demand, despite the potentially negative effect of causing the other party to withdraw from the interaction. The use of positivity may be the reason people indicated resolvability of a serial argument was highest in personal arguments, despite the fact that such arguments were perceived as less civil than public arguments (but more civil than professional arguments), and despite the fact that climate was worse in personal arguments than in public arguments (but better than in professional arguments).

Topic type and disagreement type were also empirically related in that a clear degree of association between them was found. This result confirms that the two categorizations are not equivalent (i.e., personal topics are not always disagreements about behaviors, and public topics are not always disagreements about ideas), although they do share some conceptual overlap. Even so, the two interacted to predict several negative goals, such as negative expressiveness and dominance, and the outcome measure of climate. The interactions had small effects, though, so they should be interpreted with care.

Taken together, these results suggest that a person's goals in a serial argument are the culmination of several factors, such as the specific issue at hand, and an arguer's sex, in certain conditions. Women disagreed more (whether about ideas or behaviors) about both public and professional topics than men did. An argument's central issue is, of course, a key element of the interactional context. Thus, these results suggest that goal pursuit (along with subsequent tactics and, therefore, the outcomes of these endeavors) is situational. This study identified three contextual influences (topic type, disagreement type, and arguers' sex) that contribute to the activation of certain goals and the use of certain strategies over others.

Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research

This study is not without limitations. One limitation pertains to the topic of a serial argument. As the studies were cross-sectional in nature, we were able to capture only a snippet of interaction. It is possible that topics evolve as a serial argument increases in frequency or duration as compared to their initial articulation in the first episode. For example, a politically active spouse might eventually find that repeated absences from home for civic reasons could become a personal issue (A. Johnson, Hample, & Cionea, 2014). Future research could examine whether these variables affect the content of a serial argument.

Another limitation pertains to the unilateral report of perceptions about the argument's topic. When collecting data, the topic descriptions obtained represented one arguer's (the respondent) perspective on the issue at the core of the serial argument. It would be interesting to gather topic descriptions from both parties involved in the serial argument to compare descriptions. Bevan (2014) has begun to study dyads experiencing serial arguments, which is a welcome development. Future research could also investigate more factors that predict whether individuals will pursue positive or negative goals during a serial argument episode. For example, type of relationship, role in the argument, length, and frequency of the argument may affect the topic type or disagreement type distinction or could interact with these classifications to affect the serial argument process.

Overall, the present study has proposed and supported the idea that distinguishing between argument topics and the subject of disagreements is useful for the study of serial arguments. Argument concerns afford a platform from which people energize their goals and follow through the process of arguing and experiencing relational outcomes. Further research should consider these distinctions due to their potential to clarify the dynamics of argument processes in interpersonal relations.


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The editorial team would like to thank the following people for their help reviewing the manuscripts submitted for publication in this issue:

John Caughlin

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Rachel Reznik

Elmhurst College

Adam Richards

Texas Christian University

Timothy Worley

Murray State University

Ioana A. Cionea, Department of Communication, University of Oklahoma; Dale Hample, Department of Communication, University of Maryland. An earlier version of this research was presented at the 18th biennial meeting of the NCA/AFA conference on argumentation, Alta, Utah. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ioana A. Cionea, Department of Communication, University of Oklahoma, Burton Hall, 610 Elm Avenue, Norman, Oklahoma, 73019. E-mail:


                                 No. of                        Cronbach
Variable                         items     N     Mean    SD     alpha

Approach (a)                       4      2246   2.89   0.78     .68
Positive expressiveness * (b)      2      2246   3.02   1.28     .92
Mutual understanding (b)           3      2246   3.54   1.06     .89
Relational continuation * (b)      3      2246   2.68   1.12     .84
Negative expressiveness * (b)      3      2246   3.32   1.04     .87
Dominance * (b)                    3      2246   3.12   1.02     .79
Change target * (b)                3      2246   3.16   1.11     .85
Hurt other * (b)                   6      2246   1.90   1.02     .95
I demand (c)                       4      2246   2.59   0.90     .85
Other demand (c)                   4      2246   2.42   0.91     .88
Integrative tactics (d)            5      2246   3.36   0.75     .83
Distributive tactics (d) *         6      2246   2.85   0.87     .88
Resolvability (e)                  6      2246   3.03   0.82     .84
Civility (f)                       8      2246   2.92   0.68     .79
Climate (organizations) (g)        14     363    2.94   0.61     .86
Climate (classrooms) * (h)         8      342    2.93   0.58     .80
Climate (close                     12     1541   3.08   0.89     .91
  relationships) (e)

Note. All items measured with 1-5 Likert scales (1 = strongly
disagree, 5 = strongly agree) unless otherwise noted. Higher
numbers indicate more of the attribute measured by each variable.

(a) Items created by Hample and Krueger (2011).

(b) Items from Bevan et al. (2007), measured with 1-5 Likert scales
(1 = not at all important, 5 = extremely important).

(c) Items adapted from K. Johnson and Roloff (1998), and Malis and
Roloff (2006b).

(d) Items from Bevan et al. (2007).

(e) Items from K. Johnson and Roloff (1998, 2000a, 2000b).

(f) Items from Hample, Warner, and Young (2007).

(g) Some items adapted from K. Johnson and Roloff (1998, 2000a,
2000b), other items created by Hample and Allen (2012).

(h) Some items adapted from K. Johnson and Roloff (1998, 2000a,
2000b), other items created by Hample and Krueger (2011).



                             N         M          SD

Approach                    258   3.15 (a,b)     0.79
Positive expressiveness     258   2.54 (a,b)     1.24
Mutual understanding        258   3.08 (b)       0.07
Relational continuation     258   2.16 (b)       1.06
Negative expressiveness     258   2.73 (b)       1.15
Dominance                   258   3.20 (a)       1.01
Change target               258   2.72 (b)       1.10
Hurt other                  258   1.88 (b)       0.98
I demand                    258   2.31 (a,b)     0.80
Other demand                258   2.33           0.86
Integrative tactics         258   3.15 (a)       0.68
Distributive tactics        258   2.92 (a)       0.84
Resolvability               258   2.78 (a,b)     0.79
Civility                    258   3.06 (b)       0.62
Climate                     258   3.25 (b)       0.68


                             N         M          SD

Approach                    494   3.00 (b)       0.70
Positive expressiveness     494   2.23 (b,c)     1.06
Mutual understanding        494   3.36 (b)       1.14
Relational continuation     494   2.63 (b,c)     1.06
Negative expressiveness     494   3.30 (b)       1.04
Dominance                   494   3.31 (c)       0.97
Change target               494   3.12 (b,c)     1.07
Hurt other                  494   2.06 (b,c)     1.05
I demand                    494   2.61 (b)       0.88
Other demand                494   2.37           0.85
Integrative tactics         494   3.13 (c)       0.74
Distributive tactics        494   3.03 (c)       0.92
Resolvability               494   2.95 (b)       0.84
Civility                    494   2.83 (b,c)     0.67
Climate                     494   2.91 (b,c)     0.62


                             N          M          SD

Approach                    1411   2.79 (a,c)     0.79
Positive expressiveness     1411   3.37 (a,c)     1.21
Mutual understanding        1411   3.69 (a,c)     1.00
Relational continuation     1411   2.78 (a,c)     1.13
Negative expressiveness     1411   3.31 (a,c)     1.05
Dominance                   1411   3.11 (a,c)     1.02
Change target               1411   3.26 (a,c)     1.11
Hurt other                  1411   1.82 (c)       0.98
I demand                    1411   2.61 (a)       0.92
Other demand                1411   2.44           0.93
Integrative tactics         1411   3.48 (a,c)     0.74
Distributive tactics        1411   2.76 (a,c)     0.85
Resolvability               1411   3.11 (a,c)     0.80
Civility                    1411   2.93 (a,c)     0.69
Climate                     1411   3.04 (a,c)     0.89

Note: Means with the same subscript in each row are significantly
different at p < .05, .01, or .001.


                                  Disagreement         Disagreement
                                  over behaviors        over ideas

                               N      M      SD     N     M      SD

Approach                      1216   2.82   0.78   892   2.99   0.79
Positive expressiveness       1216   3.14   1.27   892   2.78   1.28
Mutual understanding          1216   3.62   1.05   892   3.40   1.07
Relational continuation (a)   1216   2.83   1.10   892   2.46   1.11
Negative expressiveness (a)   1216   3.52   0.97   892   3.03   1.09
Dominance                     1216   3.11   1.03   892   3.11   1.01
Change target (a)             1216   3.38   1.06   892   2.85   1.13
Hurt other                    1216   1.92   1.03   892   1.83   0.97
I demand (a)                  1216   2.69   0.93   892   2.44   0.84
Other demand                  1216   2.39   0.93   892   2.41   0.86
Integrative tactics           1216   3.40   0.77   892   3.29   0.72
Distributive tactics          1216   2.82   0.88   892   2.86   0.87
Resolvability                 1216   3.07   0.81   892   2.97   0.84
Civility (a)                  1216   2.86   0.69   892   2.99   0.65
Climate (a)                   1216   2.95   0.87   892   3.13   0.71

(a) Mean differences for the subscripted variables are
significantly different at p < .05, .01, or .001.



                                 Disagreement          Disagreement
                                over behaviors         over ideas

                               N     M      SD     N     M      SD

Approach (a)                   8    2.88   0.57   247   3.17   0.80
Positive expressiveness        8    3.00   1.07   247   2.51   1.24
Mutual understanding           8    3.42   1.14   247   3.05   1.05
Relational continuation        8    2.63   0.95   247   2.14   1.06
Negative expressiveness (a)    8    2.92   1.37   247   2.72   1.15
Dominancea                     8    2.42   1.15   247   3.22   1.00
Change target (a)              8    3.96   0.92   247   2.67   1.09
Hurt other                     8    2.04   0.82   247   1.88   0.99
I demand                       8    2.81   0.73   247   2.30   0.79
Other demand                   8    2.34   0.60   247   2.34   0.87
Integrative tactics            8    3.23   0.54   247   3.13   0.67
Distributive tactics           8    3.04   0.63   247   2.93   0.84
Resolvability                  8    2.98   1.03   247   2.76   0.78
Civility                       8    2.84   0.68   247   3.07   0.62
Climate (a)                    8    2.53   0.96   247   3.28   0.65


                                 Disagreement          Disagreement
                                over behaviors         over ideas

                               N     M      SD     N     M      SD

Approach (a)                  222   2.89   0.71   265   3.09   0.68
Positive expressiveness       222   2.12   1.00   265   3.31   1.23
Mutual understanding          222   3.29   1.16   265   3.41   1.12
Relational continuation       222   2.73   1.05   265   2.56   1.05
Negative expressiveness (a)   222   3.39   1.07   265   3.23   1.01
Dominancea                    222   3.37   0.96   265   3.25   0.98
Change target (a)             222   3.29   0.99   265   2.97   1.10
Hurt other                    222   2.10   1.07   265   2.04   1.04
I demand                      222   2.69   0.93   265   2.54   0.83
Other demand                  222   2.39   0.88   265   2.36   0.84
Integrative tactics           222   3.15   0.75   265   3.12   0.74
Distributive tactics          222   3.06   0.95   265   2.99   0.89
Resolvability                 222   2.98   0.84   265   2.92   0.85
Civility                      222   2.71   0.66   265   2.92   0.66
Climate (a)                   222   2.76   0.59   265   3.03   0.61


                                 Disagreement          Disagreement
                                over behaviors         over ideas

                               N     M      SD     N     M      SD

Approach (a)                  975   2.80   0.80   368   2.78   0.80
Positive expressiveness       975   3.38   1.21   368   3.31   1.23
Mutual understanding          975   3.71   1.01   368   3.62   0.98
Relational continuation       975   2.86   1.11   368   2.59   1.13
Negative expressiveness (a)   975   3.55   0.94   368   3.10   1.06
Dominancea                    975   3.06   1.04   368   2.94   1.00
Change target (a)             975   3.39   1.07   368   2.89   1.15
Hurt other                    975   1.87   1.01   368   1.67   0.89
I demand                      975   2.68   0.94   368   2.44   0.85
Other demand                  975   2.39   0.94   368   2.50   0.85
Integrative tactics           975   3.46   0.76   368   3.49   0.68
Distributive tactics          975   2.76   0.86   368   2.73   0.85
Resolvability                 975   3.09   0.80   368   3.12   0.82
Civility                      975   2.90   0.70   368   2.97   0.66
Climate (a)                   975   3.00   0.92   368   3.10   0.79

Note: Interaction effects between topic type and disagreement
type for the subscripted variables are significant at p < .05.
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Article Details
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Author:Cionea, Ioana A.; Hample, Dale
Publication:Argumentation and Advocacy
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2015
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