The Role of Positive and Negative Signaling Communication by Strong and Weak Ties in the Shaping of Safe Sex Subjective Norms of Adolescents in South Africa

Hendrik Boer, Yvette Westhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

34 Citations (Scopus)


We propose the theory that subjective (injunctive) social norms are shaped through two intertwined processes: positive and negative signaling communication by the personal social network and construal of the communicated social norm. Construal is evoked by the strength of the relation between a tie and the individual. With strong ties, individuals conform to the communicated injunctive norm, while with weak ties individuals do not conform to the communicated injunctive norm. We assessed the validity of the theoretical framework in a study on condom-use norms among 98 adolescents from different cultural backgrounds in South Africa. Parent injunctive norms were significantly related to positive and negative signaling about condoms of strong ties but not to positive and negative signaling of weak ties.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)75-90
JournalCommunication theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


  • IR-58500

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