Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Geoff Leatham


The non-literal aspect of sarcastic utterance meaning opens up multiple perspectives regarding its interpretation, ultimately depending on the context and the relationship between those that use it. Self-reports from 151 young adults indicated that there was significant correlation between father's typical intensity of sarcasm use and subject verbal aggression, with significantly less father intensity of typical sarcasm use reported by subjects with low levels of verbal aggression. These findings suggested that sarcasm use is more prevalent in typical father young-adult directed communication with subjects that report themselves as being moderate and high verbally aggressive communicators. When observing actual communicative episodes that young adults had with their parents, there were significant differences between sarcastic and non-sarcastic conversations for the interpersonal communication variables of Quality, Change, and Control; interestingly, there was no significant difference for the interpersonal communication variable of Value. There was no significant relationship between attachment style and mother or father typical of sarcasm usage.



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