An exploratory study of family communication using the concepts complimentary and symmetrical interaction
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This research project was carried out in Winnipeg Manitoba between October, 1970 and April, 1971. It is an exploratory study in which the authors used the concepts of complementary and symmetrical communication to code family interaction. Of the twenty-two families who were contacted through the Psychiatric Out-Patient Department of the Winnipeg General Hospital, nine consented to take part in the study. Complementary and symmetrical communication interaction elicited by a structured interview was tape recorded and coded for the two concepts. The results were correlated with the descriptions of the patient's behavior as recorded on the hospital charts. It was found that family interaction could be coded as symmetrical or complementary and that there was some relationship between communication patterns, descriptions of behaviour and the spouse who was labeled as the identified patient.