Research

Ever since I began my graduate work at Indiana University, I have been interested in supportive communication and coping. I want to know how supporters can do the best job possible to help others cope with difficult life events. What makes my work different from the work of, say psychologists, is that as a communication scientist, I focus on enacted support. Enacted support is about the things people say and do to one another to help.

In my earlier work, I examined what compels people to provide poor support (Jones 2004; Jones & Burleson, 1997; 2003). I was also interested in examining how nonverbal behaviors influence verbal support in helping support recipients feel better (Jones & Guerrero, 2001). I since branched out in two ways. First, motivated by research on mindfulness and its connection to prosocial orientations (Klimecki, Leiber, Lamm, & Singer, 2012; Klimecki, Leiber, Ricard, & Singer, 2014), I examine in what ways mindfulness can a) enhance support provider abilities to enact support more effectively and b) assist support recipients in coping more effectively with difficult emotions. We collected data from 180 couples to test an intervention we designed to help these couples improve their abilities to better support one another. We designed and tested two interventions: one was a supportive communication skills intervention, which was accompanied by an in-lab PowerPoint presentation. The other intervention was a prosocial orientation intervention.

Second, I have used the concept of person centeredness (PC) as a primary theoretical and operational tool to make sense of different kinds of supportive messages with conversations. Burleson, who conceived of it, viewed person centeredness as the extent to which people are able to express their awareness of the other person's perspectives, feelings, and thoughts (for a description and the traditional nine-level hierarchy that captures PC, see Burleson,1985). Highly person-centered (HPC) messages acknowledge the other person's feelings, whereas low person-centered messages (LPC) usually down-play or minimize, and sometimes even condemn these feelings. So both HPC and LPC messages are about emotions, but in the opposite direction. Moderately person-centered (MPC) messages tend to usually be nonfeeling-centered; they can express condolences or simply stick to content ("..and then she did WHAT?"). People prefer HPC messages, but they usually do not produce these kinds of messages. Together with my colleague, Graham Bodie, we developed a conversational coding system that allows us to code person centeredness in supportive conversations. The coding system emerged over the course of coding more than 500 supportive conversations. 

PUBLICATIONS 2017 Google h-index = 21;  * = Student; bold = Advisee; full CV in MsWord

Peer-reviewed Articles

Danielson, C., & Jones, S. M. (in press). “Help, I’m getting bullied”: Examining sequences of teacher support messages provided to bullied students. Western Journal of Communication.

Youngvorst, L. J., & Jones, S. M. (2017). The influence of cognitive complexity, empathy, and mindfulness on person-centered message evaluations. Communication Quarterly, Advance online publication.
doi: 10.1080/01463373.2017.1301508.

Jones, S. M., Bodie, G. D., Koerner, A. F. (2017). Connections between family communication patterns, person-centered message evaluations, and emotion regulation. Human Communication Research. Advance online publication.
doi: 10.1111/hcre.12103

Jones, S. M., Bodie, G. D., & Hughes, S. (2016). The impact of mindfulness on empathy, active listening, and perceived provisions of emotional support. Communication Research. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0093650215626983

Bodie, G. D., Keaton, S. A., & Jones, S. M. (2016). Individual listening values moderate the impactof verbal person centeredness onhelper evaluations: A test of the Dual-Process Theory of supportive message outcomes. International Journal of Listening. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/10904018.2016.1194207

Bodie, G., *Cannava, K., *Vickery, A. J., & Jones, S. M. (2015). The role of “active listening” in informal helping conversations: Impact on perceptions of listener helpfulness, sensitivity, and supportiveness, and discloser emotional improvement. Western Journal of Communication, 79, 151-173. doi:10.1080/10570314.2014.943429

Bodie, G., *Cannava, K., *Vickery, A. J., & Jones, S. M. (2015). Patterns of nonverbal adaptation in supportive interactions. Communication Studies, 67, 3-19.
doi:10.1080/10510974.2015.1036168       

Bodie, G., Jones, S. M., & *Vickery, A., *Hatcher, L., & *Cannava, K. (2014). Examining the construct validity of enacted support: A multitrait-multimethod analysis of four perspectives for judging immediacy and listening behaviors. Communication Monographs, 81, 495-523.
doi:10.1080/03637751.2014.957223

Jones, S. M., & Hansen, W. D. (2014).
The impact of mindfulness on supportive communication: Three exploratory studies. Mindfulness, 6, 1115-1128. doi:10.1007/s12671-014-0362-7

Bodie, G., & Jones, S. M. (2012).
The nature of supportive listening II:The role of verbal person centeredness and nonverbal immediacy. Western Journal of Communication, 3, 250-269.
doi: 10.1080/10570314.2011.651255     

Bodie, G., Burleson, B. R., & Jones, S. M. (2012). The relationship between the perceived and actual effectiveness of supportive messages: A dual-process framework. Communication Monographs, 79, 1-22.
doi:10.1080/03637751.2011.646491

Jones, S. M. (2011). Supportive listening. International Journal of Listening, 24, 83-103. doi:1080/10904018.2011.536475

Jones, S. M., & *Wirtz, J. G. (2007).
“Sad monkey see, monkey do:” Nonverbal matching in emotional support encounters. Communication Studies, 58, 71-86.
doi:10.1080/10510970601168731

Jones, S. M. (2006). “Why is this happening to me?:” The attributional make-up of negative emotions experienced in emotional support encounters. Communication Research Reports, 23(4), 1-8. doi:10.1080/08824090600962623   

Jones, S. M., & *Wirtz, J. G. (2006). How does the comforting process work?: An empirical test of anppraisal-based model of comforting. Human Communication Research, 32, 217-243. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2958.2006.00274.x

Jones, S. M. (2005). Attachment style differences and similarities in evaluations of affective communication skills and person-centered comforting messages. Western Journal of  Communication, 69, 233-249.
doi:10.1080/10570310500202405

Guerrero, L. K., & Jones, S. M. (2005). Differences in conversational skills as a function of attachment style: A follow-up study. Communication Quarterly, 53, 305-321. doi:10.1080/01463370500101014      

Burleson, B. R., Samter, W., Jones, S. M., Kunkel, A. W., Holmstrom, A. J., Mortenson, S. T., & MacGeorge, E. L. (2005). Which comforting messages really work best? A different perspective on Lemieux and Tighe’s “receiver perspective.” Communication Research Reports, 22, 87-100. doi:10.1080/00036810500130422

Holmstrom, A. J., Burleson, B. R., & Jones, S. M. (2005). Some consequences for helpers who deliver “cold comfort:” Why it’s worse for women than men to be inept when providing emotional support. Sex Roles, 53(3/4), 153-172. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-5676-4

Jones, S. (2004). Putting the person into person-centered and immediate emotional support:Emotional change and perceived helper competence as outcomes of comforting in helping situations. Communication Research, 31, 338-360.doi:10.1177/0093650204263436

Jones, S. M., & Dindia, K. (2004). A meta-analytic perspective on sex equity in the classroom. Review of Educational Research, 74, 443-471. doi:10.3102/00346543074004443

Jones, S. M., &  Burleson, B. R. (2003). Effects of helper and recipient sex on the experience and outcomes of comforting messages: An experimental investigation. Sex Roles, 48(1/2), 1-19.

Guerrero, L. K., & Jones, S. M. (2003). Differences in one’s own and one’s partner’s perceptions of social skills as a function of attachment style. Communication Quarterly, 51, 277-295. doi: 10.1080/01463370309370157

Jones, S. M., & Guerrero, L. K. (2001). The effects of nonverbal immediacy and verbal person centeredness in the emotional support process. Human Communication Research, 27, 567-596. doi:10.1093/hcr/27.4.567

Guerrero, L. K., Jones, S. M., & Burgoon, J. K. (2000). Responses to nonverbal intimacy change in romantic dyads: Effects of behavioral valence and degree of behavioral change on nonverbal and verbal reactions. Communication Monographs, 67 325-346. doi:10.1080/03637750009376515  

Jones, S. M., &  Burleson, B. R. (1997). The impact of situational variables on helpers’ perceptions of comforting messages: An attributional analysis. Communication Research, 24, 530-555. doi:10.1177/009365097024005004         


Short Articles and Chapters


Bodie, G. D., & Jones, S. M. (2017). Measuring affective components of listening.
In D. L.Worthington & G. D. Bodie (Eds.), Sourcebook of listening research measures and methodology. London, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Danielson, C., & Jones, S. M. (2017). The Five-Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire (3600 words). In D. L. Worthington & G. D. Bodie (Eds.), Sourcebook of listening research measures and methodology. London, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Jones, S. M. (2015). Mindfulness (6000 words). International encyclopedia of interpersonal communication. C. R. Berger & M. E. Roloff (Eds.). London, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Jones, S. M. (2015). Attachment theory (2000 words). International encyclopedia of interpersonal communication. C. R. Berger & M. E. Roloff (Eds.). London, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Jones, S. M. & Koerner, A. F. (2015). Support types (4000 words). International encyclopedia of interpersonal communication. C. R. Berger & M. E. Roloff (Eds.). London, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Bodie, G. D., & Jones, S. M. (2015). Constructivism (2000 words). International encyclopedia of interpersonal communication. C. R. Berger & M. E. Roloff (Eds.). London, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Koerner, A. F. & Jones, S. M. (2015). Marital typologies (4000 words). International encyclopedia of interpersonal communication. C. R. Berger & M. E. Roloff (Eds.). London, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Jones, S. M. (2015). Interpersonal attraction (400 words). In W. Donsbach (Ed). Concise Encyclopedia of Communication. London, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Jones, S. M., & Bodie, G. D. (2014). Supportive communication. In P. J. Schulz & P. Cobley (Series Eds.), C. R. Berger (Vol. Ed.) Handbooks of Communication Science: Interpersonal Communication (Vol. 6; 371-394). Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Mouton.

Jones, S. M. (2009). Relational messages (1000 words). In H. T. Reis & S. Sprecher (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Human Relationships. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Jones, S. M. (2008). Interpersonal attraction (2000 words). In W. Donsbach (Ed.), International encyclopedia of communication. London, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Jones, S. M. (2008). Politeness theory (1000 words). In W. Donsbach (Ed.), International encyclopedia of communication. London, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Andersen, P. A., Guerrero, L. K., & Jones, S. M. (2006). Nonverbal behavior in intimate interactions and intimate relationships. In V. Manusov & M. Patterson (Eds.), Handbook of nonverbal communication (pp. 259-277). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Guerrero, L. K., Jones, S. M., & Boburka, R. R. (2006). Sex differences in emotional communication. In K. Dindia & D. J. Canary (Eds.), Sex differences and similarities in communication (2nd ed., pp. 241-261). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Jones, S. M., Dindia, K., & *Tye, S. (2006).  Sex equity in the classroom: Do female students lose the battle for teacher attention? In B. M. Gayle, R. W. Preiss, N. Burrell, & M. Allen (Eds.), Classroom communication and instructional processes: Advances through meta-analysis (pp. 185-209). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Petronio, S., & Jones, S. M. (2006). When“friendly advice” becomes a privacy dilemma for pregnant couples: Applying communication privacy management theory. In L. Turner & R. West (Eds.), The family communication sourcebook. (pp. 201-218). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Petronio, S., Jones, S., &  Morr, M. C. (2003). Family privacy dilemmas: A communication boundary perspective. In L. R. Frey (Ed.), Group communication in context: Studies of bona fide group (2nd ed., pp. 23-55). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.  

Jones, S. M., &  Petronio, S. (2000). Epilogue: Taking stock. In S. Petronio (Ed.), Balancing the secrets of private disclosures (pp. 301-302).
Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.