Discourse Studies 4 (4):481-500 (2002)

This article examines caller responses to advice on three peer-run social support telephone lines for community mental health clients in the northeastern United States. Straightforward rejection of advice involves reports on past or current activities, known only to the caller, as a way of demonstrating one's competence in thinking up similar options. Straightforward acceptance of advice involves a report on activities the caller might do to adopt the advisable option. The most common responses, minimal acknowledgements, can potentially signify rejection, mere recipiency, and/or acceptance of the advice. Contrary to previous studies, minimal acknowledgements can display hesitant acceptance when subsequently accompanied by descriptions of additional details about a present or future action tied to the advisable option. These methods for accepting and rejecting advice help callers balance their needs for assistance, friendship and autonomy.
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DOI 10.1177/14614456020040040501
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