Results

One thousand four hundred and thirty (A’ = 1,430) articles were coded, of which 19% met the criteria as interpersonal and empirical (n = 269). The frequency of articles that were coded as “interpersonal communication” ranged from 3% to 49% of published articles across journals (see Table 13.1). Within those articles, 332 studies (accounting for multiple studies within some articles) formed the sample for this descriptive analysis, which were combined to represent the voices of 71,076 individuals (see Tables 13.1 and 13.2 for complete summary of the data). Data were separated by journal, then combined.

Reporting of Sample Characteristics

An important finding from these analyses is that authors often do not report basic characteristics of their samples, with that propensity varying across journals (see Table 13.1). Specifically, the percentage of participants whose ethnicity was reported ranged from 28% in JOC to 91% in CM. Overall,

Table 13.1 Summary of sample characteristics

CM

HCR

JACR

joc

jnc

Howard

Asia

ccc

Total

Total number of

IP articles

70

50

48

31

24

28

11

7

269

Percentage of total articles

49%

33%

34%

10%

20%

18%

5%

3%

19%

Total sample size of IP studies

19695

19315

5261

11108

4951

4496

6189

61

71076

White %

72%

62%

65%

62%

27%

64%

0%

29%

57%

Non-white %

1%

0%

1%

12%

0%

0%

0%

0%

1%

Black %

6%

6%

14%

3%

7%

14%

0%

10%

6%

Latinx %

12%

14%

7%

2%

9%

12%

0%

0%

10%

Asian %

6%

13%

4%

19%

55%

5%

92%

61%

20%

Other %

4%

5%

9%

1%

2%

5%

8%

0%

5%

Female %

62%

60%

77%

57%

57%

64%

72%

98%

63%

Of US

96%

77%

90%

34%

63%

77%

3%

66%

69%

Of ethnicity reported

91%

50%

65%

28%

59%

68%

76%

51%

63%

Of sex reported

97%

76%

80%

33%

68%

80%

64%

84%

74%

Of age reported

92%

77%

77%

33%

62%

32%

42%

31%

67%

Of college students

37%

61%

6%

32%

65%

53%

31%

31%

43%

Notes: See key for journal abbreviations in manuscript; “IP” = Interpersonal; “Non-white” represent cases in which authors only reported the percentage of white participants; “other” represents cases where either authors reported a category of “other” or listed identities that were not captured by the categories listed in this table; “Of US” reflect the percent of participants from samples collected in the United States; “Of [characteristic] reported” reflect the percent of participants whose (sample characteristic) was reported; “Of college students” reflect the percent of participant from samples that were collected in colleges or universities.

244 Walid A. Afiji and Monica Cornejo Table 13.2 Representation by continent

Continent

Samples

% of Wo rld Population

Under/Over-

Representation Ratio

Africa

6.6%

16.0%

0.41

Asia

11.6%

60.0%

0.19

Australia/New Zealand

0.9%

0.4%

2.17

Europe

7.6%

11.0%

0.69

North America

69.2%

7.5%

9.23

South America

0.9%

8.6%

0.11

White

79.0%

19.0%

4.16

Black/Brown

7.6%

30.1%

0.25

.Votes: The data reflect percentages from countries in which data were collected in the coded samples. The “% of world population” reflect the percent of world population represented by the combined population of those countries represented in the coded samples; “under/ over representation ratio” was calculated by dividing data from “% of sample” by data from “% of world population.” Within Africa, data were collected in Ethiopia (n = 156), Kenya (n = 12), Malawi (n = 3,843), Senegal (n = 76), South Africa (n = 24), Uganda (n = 231), and a sample which broadly referenced data collection in “Africa” (n = 360); within Asia, data were collected in China (n = 2,727), Israel (n = 925), Japan (n = 629), Lebanon (n = 80), South Korea (n = 16), Singapore (n = 849), and Taiwan (n = 2,857); within Europe, data were collected in Belgium (» = 1,597), Bulgaria (n = 50), England (n = 40), Germany (n = 433), the Netherlands (n = 1,897), Norway (n = 27), Portugal (n = 252), Slovakia (n = 225), Spain (n = 44), and a sample which broadly referenced data collection in “Europe” (n = 14); within North America, data were collected in Canada (n = 120), and the United States (n = 49,081); within South America, data were collected in Chile (n = 512), the Dominican Republic (n = 22), and Ecuador (ii = 132); within Australia (n = 159) and New Zealand (n = 458). “White” combined data across continents and countries that include primary Caucasian/white populations (i.e., Australia//New Zealand, Europe, Canada, United States, Israel); “Black/Brown” combine data from countries in Africa, South America, and the Middle East (exclusive of Israel).

ethnic identity information was reported for only 63% of all participants. Participant sex was more frequently reported (74%), although also varying dramatically in report frequency across journals, with a range of 33% in JOC to 97% in CM. Finally, 67% of all participants were parts of samples in which their average age was reported, with a low of 31% in CCC and a high of 92% in CM. Authors reported the sexual orientation of only 7% of the over 71,000 participants, and approximately 5% of the studies included average income of participants in the sample. It is important to keep in mind that the analyses that follow only relate to the studies in which related information was provided.

Diversity in Terms of Ethnicity

Approximately 57% of participants whose ethnic identity was reported identified as white/Caucasian, with Asian at 20%, Latinx at 10% and black or African-American at 6%. All other ethnicities or multi-racial identities made up 6% of the samples. It may be worth noting that removing the Howard Journal of Communication (the aim of which is to “(publish) original and current research papers focusing on ethnicity and culture as they interact withcommunication,” https://www.tandfonline.com/action/journallnformation? show=aimsScope&journalCode=uhjc20), the Asian Journal of Communication (the aim of which is to “highlight research on the systems and processes of communication in the Asia-Pacific region and among Asian communities around the world,” https://www.tandfonline.com/action/journallnformation? show=aimsScope&journalCode=rajc20), and the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication (JIIC; the aim of which is to “(expand) understanding of international, intercultural, and cross-cultural communication”; https://www.tandfonline.com/action/journallnformation?show=aims Scope&journalCode=rjii20) from these analyses produces an increase in the percentage of white participants (to 71% of the sample) and a decrease in the number of Asian participants (to 12% of the sample), while maintaining similar levels of representation for Latinx and black communities in the United States.

If we go back to including all journals in our analysis, but restrict the analysis to data collected in the United States, the over-representation of white participants increases, with 66% of the sample identifying as white (vs. 61% across the entire sample), with 12% Latinx, 10% Asian, and 7% black. When compared to US census data on distribution of ethnicities (61% white, 18% Latinx; 13% black, 6% Asian; see https://www.census. gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045217), that translates to an 8% overrepresentation of the white community and an 80% over-representation of the Asian-American community, compared to a 53% and 90% underrepresentation of the Latinx population and black community in the United States, respectively.

The seeming over-representation of Asian ethnicities in US-based samples (10% of the sample vs. 6% of the census) is worth additional scrutiny. First, that over-representation in part reflects the fact that Asian-Americans are disproportionately likely to continue toward higher education (“The Rise of Asian Americans,” 2013) and thus more likely to be included in convenience sampling (i.e., college samples) than other ethnic groups. Second, given the large number of students from Asia who come to the United States for education (https://www.iie.org/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors/ Data/International-Students/Places-of-Origin) and their likely underrepresentation in US census figures, the 6% census figure of Asian Americans likely under-estimates the number of individuals of Asian ethnicity living in the United States at any one time. Finally, the Asian community is the only one for which a Communication journal exists to provide exclusive focus on their experiences. As a result, they are more likely to be represented in these data than ethnic groups without such a focused outlet for related scholarship. To be clear, though, the overall knowledge base in interpersonal communication, as reflected by these data, still dramatically under-represents the Asian experience. The population of the continent of Asia makes up 60% of the world’s population. Only 11.6% of participants in this analysis were part of samples collected in Asia.

 
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