Honey, Would You?: A Study of Compliance-gaining Messages of Married Women




Avant, Melanie

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A study was conducted to examine the compliance-gaining strategies women use in their marriages and to investigate how these strategies are related to communication competence, relational power, and the demand-withdraw interaction pattern. Women (N = 65) provided open-ended responses describing their most recent compliance-gaining interaction with their husbands. Subjects also completed the Interpersonal Communication Competence scale, a power measure, and the Communication Patterns questionnaire. Hypotheses investigating women’s use of compliance-gaining strategies, their communication competence, their relational power, and the presence of the demand-withdraw interaction pattern in the relationship were not supported. Three significant results were found: (1) competent communicators were less likely to use the manipulation strategy than less competent communicators, (2) those with high-scores for the demand-withdraw interaction pattern were more likely to use the assertion strategy, and (3) those with low scores for the demand-withdraw interaction pattern were significantly more likely to use the reason strategy. These results suggest a relationship between compliance-gaining strategy choice, communication competence, and the presence of the demand-withdraw interaction pattern in relationships.



communication in marriage, interpersonal communication, manipulative behavior, compliance


Avant, M. (2001). Honey, would you?: A study of compliance-gaining messages of married women (Unpublished thesis). Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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