Postprint version. Published in Communication Research Reports, Volume 27, Issue 2, April 1, 2010, pages 131-142.
Copyright © 2010 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Communication Research Reports.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08824091003738040.
This study examined the relationship between reticence (Keaten & Kelly, 2000) and instant messaging (IM), including affect for IM, usage of IM, and self-perceived competence using IM in difficult interpersonal situations. Participants (N=336) from undergraduate courses responded to self-report measures of reticence, affect for IM, general usage of IM, as well as usage in challenging interpersonal situations, and communication competence. A structural equation model indicated that reduced anxiety and inhibition, IM competence, and increased preparation and control explained 34% of the variance in frequency of IM use in a difficult personal situation. Results showed that higher levels of reticence were associated with positive affect for IM, which, in turn, increased the likelihood of using IM in a difficult personal situation.