Is Coming Out in the Classroom Still an Occupational Hazard? A Replication of Russ, Simonds, and Hunt (2002)

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Justin P. Boren & Mary B. McPherson
Communication Studies, 69(3), 242-250
Publication year: 2018

This project represents a replication of Russ, Simonds, and Hunt’s (2002) project that explored the influence of instructor sexual orientation disclosure on perceptions of teacher credibility and learning. Our purpose was to see if the original findings—that students perceive gay teachers as less credible and that they learn less than from a straight teacher—could be replicated in a sample of students from a different location and after more than 15 years from the original study. Employing a quasi-experimental methodology, we did not find the same result as they did: gay instructors were not rated lower in credibility and learning by the students in our sample. We provide some context and discussion around why this might be the case.

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Co-rumination and immune inflammatory response in healthy young adults: Associations with Interleukin-6 and c-Reactive Protein

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Justin P. Boren & Alice E. Veksler
Communication Research Reports, 35(2), 152-161
Publication year: 2018

A rich literature exists reinforcing the notion that both perceived and received social support has stress ameliorating and protective benefits both psychologically and physiologically. However, recent literature suggests that excessive dyadic negative problem talk about an issue, a phenomenon labeled co-rumination, may reverse much of the beneficial effects of social support. Healthy young adults participated in a laboratory research study exploring the associations between co-rumination and immune system inflammatory response. Partial correlations indicated a positive association between co-rumination and C-reactive protein and a negative association between co-rumination and interleukin-6 after controlling for stress, anxiety, and temperature. Discussion focuses on the means by which co-rumination may lead to negative health outcomes.

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Social Support

Book Chapters
Justin P. Boren
The International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication
Publication year: 2017

Social inclusion predicts lower blood glucose and low-density lipoproteins in healthy adults

Co-authored with studentsPeer Reviewed Journal Article
Kory Floyd, Alice E. Veksler, Bree McEwan, Colin Hesse, Justin P. Boren, Dana R. Dinsmore, Corey A. Pavlich
Health Communication, 8, 1039-1042
Publication year: 2017

Loneliness has been shown to have direct effects on one’s personal well-being. Specifically, a greater feeling of loneliness is associated with negative mental health outcomes, negative health behaviors, and an increased likelihood of premature mortality. Using the neuroendocrine hypothesis, we expected social inclusion to predict decreases in both blood glucose levels and low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and increases in high-density lipoproteins (HDLs). Fifty-two healthy adults provided self-report data for social inclusion and blood samples for hematological tests. Results indicated that higher social inclusion predicted lower levels of blood glucose and LDL, but had no effect on HDL. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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Communicatively restricted organizational stress (CROS) II: Development and validation of the CROS-14

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Alice E. Veksler & Justin P. Boren
Communication Methods and Measures, 11, 137-149
Publication year: 2017

In this article, we operationalize Communicatively Restricted Organizational Stress (CROS). CROS is a new variable previously conceptualized as a perceived inability to communicate about a particular stressor within an organizational context and operationalized as having two dimensions of prevalence and distress. The present investigation presents data from two studies (total N = 918) aimed at developing and validating a measure of CROS. In Study 1, we generated and tested a series of items intended to tap into the dual dimensions of CROS with currently employed organizational members (n = 373). In Study 2, we collected a second sample (= 545) and confirmed the factor structure of the measure identified in Study 1. We present evidence of reliability, content validity, and construct validity. The final result is a two-dimensional measure of CROS we call the CROS-14. Our discussion includes information on implementation, scoring, and potential future applications of the CROS-14.

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Biology

Book Chapters
Justin P. Boren & Alice E. Veksler
The Wiley Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy (2nd Ed.).
Publication year: 2017

“Kind, sensitive, and above all honest”: A multi-method study of long-term cancer survivors’ quality of life and patient self-advocacy

Co-authored with studentsPeer Reviewed Journal Article
Kristin Borofka, Justin P. Boren, Laura E. Ellingson
Communication Research Reports, 32, 373-378
Publication year: 2015

Long-term survivors of cancer (LTS) are a growing population whose needs differ significantly from patients undergoing cancer treatment. Many LTS suffer from late effects of cancer treatments or symptoms that persist after treatment concludes or appear following remission. This study explored the relationship between LTS perceptions of quality of life with late effects and perceptions of patient self-advocacy through quantitative and qualitative analyses. A negative statistical relationship emerged between the variables. LTS median self-advocacy scores were quite high, reflecting their preference for health-care providers who listen actively, understand patient needs, are knowledgeable and compassionate, and utilize joint decision making.

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“I just can’t clean the bathroom as well as you can!”: Communicating domestic labor task equity-resistance and equity-restoring strategies among married individuals

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Sarah E. Riforgiate & Justin P. Boren
Journal of Family Communication, 15, 309-329
Publication year: 2015

Women generally perform the majority of domestic labor despite changes in demographics and household income allocations, contributing to relational conflict and prompting the use of communication strategies to reallocate tasks. This study examines the strategies individuals use to reduce personal or increase partner domestic labor performance. Married individuals (N = 228) responded to a questionnaire assessing perception of hours spent on household tasks, global equity, relationship length, and equity-restoring and equity-resistance strategies specific to domestic labor. Data indicate that perception of time spent on household tasks is related to equity-restoring and equity-resistance strategies. Global assessment of relational underbenefitedness or overbenefitedness was not associated with equity-restoring and equity-resisting strategies when characterized as a continuous variable; however, significant results occurred when equity was characterized categorically, highlighting the importance of methodological choices in equity research. Marriage length was negatively associated in a curvilinear function with the use of equity-restoring and equity-resistance strategies.

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Communicatively restricted organizational stress (CROS) I: Conceptualization and overview

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Justin P. Boren & Alice E. Veksler
Management Communication Quarterly, 29(1). 28-55
Publication year: 2015

In this article, we conceptualized a new organizational variable, Communicatively Restricted Organizational Stress (CROS). CROS is a perceived inability to communicate about a particular stressor and functions to exacerbate negative outcomes related to the appraisal of that stressor. To aid in our conceptualization, we reviewed extant literature on organizational stress and social support. We also collected open-ended data from a national sample of 354 workers. The responses to these questions lead us to specific themes about the nature and function of CROS. Finally, we propose a conceptual conditional process model with two primary propositions: (a) An organizational member who reports high levels of CROS will experience negative outcomes, regardless of reported level of social support and (b) an organizational member who reports high levels of CROS will experience negative outcomes, regardless of the severity of the stressor.

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The relationships between co-rumination, social support, stress, and burnout among working adults

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Justin P. Boren
Management Communication Quarterly, 28(1). 3-25
Publication year: 2014

Workers regularly report high levels of stress and burnout because of their daily interactions at work. They also tend to seek social support as a mechanism to reduce stress and burnout. Social support buffers the negative effects of stress on health-related outcomes and is inversely associated with burnout and perceived stress. However, recent research has revealed that not all social support is beneficial. Co-rumination, or excessive negative problem talk about an issue, has been linked to increasing levels of stress and burnout. Working adults (N = 447) completed a survey exploring the relationships between social support, co-rumination, stress, and burnout. Two mediation models predicted that co-rumination would suppress the relationships between social support and both burnout and perceived stress. Data supported both partial mediation hypotheses. This study concludes that some social support can be less-than-beneficial, if the content of the supportive transaction focuses on excessive and negative problem talk.

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Affectionate communication can suppress immunity: Trait affection predicts antibody titers to latent Epstein-Barr virus

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Kory Floyd, Colin Hesse, Justin P. Boren, Alice E. Veksler
Southern Communication Journal, 79, 2-13
Publication year: 2014

The communication of affection in close relationships has been linked empirically to multiple physical and mental health benefits that are attributable largely to its stress-alleviating effects. Because affectionate communication frequently involves tactile contact of an intimate nature, however, it may also elevate vulnerability to opportunistic illness and infection, increasing the chances for immune system suppression. Using a sample of 52 healthy adults in cohabiting romantic relationships who were seropositive for latent human herpesvirus-4 (also known as the Epstein-Barr virus), the present study documented that self-reported trait expressed affection predicts antibody titers to Epstein-Barr virus viral capsid antigen complex, indicating viral replication and suppressed cell-mediated immunity.

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Examining the relationships among peer resentment messages overheard, state guilt, and employees’ perceived ability to use work/family policies

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Justin P. Boren & Shannon Johnson
Southern Communication Journal, 78(2), 128–145
Publication year: 2013

This study sought to determine if frequency of peer resentment messages overheard in organizational settings was associated with employees’ perceived ability to use work/family policies. Job burnout and state guilt were also included as potential predictors. In this sample of workers (N = 474), resentment messages, internalized guilt, and burnout were significantly and negatively associated with the likelihood of using work/family policies, accounting for 22% of the variance. An interaction effect was also discovered for burnout and resentment on perceived ability to use work/family policies. This study highlights the importance of understanding the messages embedded within an organization’s culture and those messages’ impacts on individual decisions to make use of leave policies.

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Co-rumination partially mediates the relationship between social support and emotional exhaustion among graduate students

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Justin P. Boren
Communication Quarterly, 61(3), 253–267
Publication year: 2013

Graduate students regularly report high levels of stress and burnout. Many of those same students utilize social support networks, which can act as stress buffers. This study evaluated excessive negative talk about issues (co-rumination) and its effects on that social support-to-burnout (emotional exhaustion) relationship and predicted that co-rumination would act as a suppressor variable. Graduate student volunteers (N = 213) reported their levels of social support, co-rumination, and emotional exhaustion. Data indicated that co-rumination did mediate the social support-to-emotional exhaustion relationship on 2 dimensions. This project purports that, although social support is important, the content of socially supportive interactions may also be important when attempting to intervene in stressful situations, especially when those interactions involve co-ruminative messages.

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A decade of research exploring biology and communication: The brain, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, and immune systems

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Justin P. Boren & Alice E. Veksler
Communication Research Trends, 30(4), 1 -31
Publication year: 2011

The influence of being “out” in the workplace on perceptions of managerial credibility and affect

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Justin P. Boren & Mary B. McPherson
Rocky Mountain Communication Review, 6(2), 6- 17
Publication year: 2009

Kissing in marital and cohabitating relationships: Effects on blood lipids, stress, and relationship satisfaction

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Kory Floyd, Justin P. Boren, Annegret F. Hannawa, Colin Hesse, Breanna McEwan, Alice E. Veksler
Western Journal of Communication, 73(2), 113-133
Publication year: 2009

Affection exchange theory and previous research suggest that affectionate behavior has stress-ameliorating effects. On this basis, we hypothesized that increasing affectionate behavior would effect improvements in physical and psychological conditions known to be exacerbated by stress. This study tested this proposition by examining the effects of increased romantic kissing on blood lipids, perceived stress, depression, and relationship satisfaction. Fifty-two healthy adults who were in marital or cohabiting romantic relationships provided self-report data for psychological outcomes and blood samples for hematological tests, and were then randomly assigned to experimental and control groups for a 6-week trial. Those in the experimental group were instructed to increase the frequency of romantic kissing in their relationships; those in the control group received no such instructions. After 6 weeks, psychological and hematological tests were repeated. Relative to the control group, the experimental group experienced improvements in perceived stress, relationship satisfaction, and total serum cholesterol.

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Social exchange orientation and conflict communication in romantic relationships

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Amy M. Bippus, Justin P. Boren, Sabrina Worsham
Communication Research Reports, 25(3), 227-234
Publication year: 2008

Prior research has not conclusively established how individuals’ social exchange orientation (EO) affects their communication in, and satisfaction with, romantic relationships. Surveying 466 individuals in romantic relationships, we found that concern about being underbenefitted was more strongly correlated with conflict behaviors than concern about overbenefittedness, and that conflict communication influenced the relationship between exchange orientation and relationship satisfaction. We discuss the need for further research to discover how EO may influence communication patterns as relationships develop.

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