Document Type



Published in the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, volume 42 issue 2, p. 172-191, 2013.

“This is an electronic version of an article published in the Journal of International Communication Research © 29th November 2012 Copyright Taylor & Francis; Journal of International Communication Research is available online at / "


Emotional Support; Ethnicity; Religion; Comforting Message Evaluation



Publication Source

Journal of Intercultural Communication Research


The current study explored whether ethnicity influences young adults’ evaluations of two different sets of comforting messages: those in which concepts such as God, prayer, religion, and faith are woven into low, moderate, and high person-centered strategies (called ‘‘religious strategies’’) and those in which such concepts are not embedded (called ‘‘non-religious strategies’’) into the messages. One hundred ninety-seven college students (63% African-American; 37% Caucasian) rated the sensitivity and effectiveness of religious and non-religious comforting messages. Several significant differences were observed between Caucasians and African-Americans in their evaluations of these strategies. Findings are discussed in terms of their practical implications for ‘‘real world’’ comforting efforts as well as the theoretical significance they hold for the concept of person-centeredness.