Communication Studies

Second Major



Salazar, J Abran

Advisor Department

Communication Studies




Hispanic; family; familism; respect; conflict style


Every human being has a unique communication style, which has often been carefully and significantly molded by family members during their upbringing. Cultural variations in those communication styles are common because different ethnic groups possess their own standards or values for what constitutes effective and appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication. For my project, I focused on communication patterns and cultural values practiced by young adults within Hispanic families, specifically regarding the concepts of familism, respect, and conflict. Familism is a value often associated with Hispanic families and it revolves around the notion that family is paramount in a person’s life. Respect, also known in the Spanish language as “respeto,” is an important value in Hispanic families, as it is directly linked to the ways in which members treat one another. Hispanic children are often taught at a young age that they must show respect toward their elders, both through language and behavior. For my study, I was particularly interested in examining the relationships between familism, respect, and conflict style. The conflict styles being considered for the study were: competing, accommodating, avoiding, collaborating, and compromising. I handed out questionnaires to 26 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 who identified as Hispanic. These participants responded to a series of questions designed to assess the extent to which they had internalized the cultural values of familism and respect, and to determine their predominant conflict style. I analyzed the resulting data to examine the relationships among these three variables.