Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1-27-1965


The problem of this study was to determine if nurses' communication behavior could be measured according to four postulated levels of communication; and if the distribution of the use of these levels indicated that there were reactive nurse communicators and restrictive nurse communicators. The method of study was descriptive-survey with nonparticipant observation and the use of a personal inventory form the techniques of data collection. A random sample of nurses on a pediatric unit were observed as they gave direct nursing care. The guide for observation of communication behavior was developed by Roy E. Buehler and Jo P. Richmond and consisted of four primary levels of communication (Biochemical, Motor gesture, Speech, and Technology), and their categories. The findings of the study indicated that: (1) the Interpersonal Communication Behavioral Analysis described by Buehler and Richmond could be used to observe, and record communication behavior of nurses in the pediatric nursing situation; (2) the four levels of communication were independent units; (3) the nurses in the sample could be described as restrictive communicators because of their infrequent use of certain communication behaviors; (4) the sample seldom used body contact when communicating with the children and played infrequently with them; (5) on the average the nurses communicated with children only 5l per cent of the time they were with them, giving nursing care. Recommendations were made that studies be conducted to examine factors involved in the nurses infrequent use of certain communication behavior, and that consideration be given to adapting the Interpersonal Communication Behavior Analysis for use as an evaluation tool of nurse effectiveness, in selection of personnel, and as a teaching tool in the therapeutic use of one’s self.