Making dad proud: daughters' perceptions of impression management and breadth and depth in communication with their fathers
Father-daughter communication is an understudied area of interpersonal communication research. Communication in this dyad is also reported significantly less by daughters than communication in mother-daughter relationships. However, prior research has established the importance of positive father-daughter communication on daughters’ perceptions of relationship satisfaction as well as on daughters’ overall social and mental health. There were many barriers for the father-daughter dyad that contributed to its typically limited communication, including the “daddy’s little girl” image and perceived gender differences. Using a thematic analysis methodology following semi-structured interviews, this project was designed to discover daughters’ perceptions of the breadth and depth of their communication with their fathers as well as the role that the desire to manage how their fathers see them impacted their communication. Impression Management Theory and Social Penetration Theory were used as lenses to analyze interview data to draw insights into the dynamics of father-daughter communication for the participants in this study. The daughters in this study unanimously reported that making their fathers proud was their ultimate goal in this relationship. They utilized impression management strategies (ingratiation, self-promotion, exemplification, supplication and intimidation) to promote and maintain an image consistent with this goal when communicating with their fathers. While all daughters in this study felt that their relationships with their fathers were close and their communication was open, data analysis revealed that ingratiation, self-promotion, exemplification and supplication strategies were used to both promote and limit breadth and depth in communication and openness and intimacy in their father-daughter relationships.
Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Elliott School of Communication