Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Henningsen, Mary L.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communication


Forensics (Public speaking); Debates and debating; Interpersonal relations; College students--Relations; Communication; Sociology


Intercollegiate forensics competition is a highly complex network of interconnected individuals. This study proposes that various contextual factors surrounding forensics competition may influence the communication between friends who compete against each other on the circuit ("frenemies"). Specifically, this study uses the lens of relational uncertainty to determine the significance and communicative behaviors of frenemies when faced with uncertainty-increasing events. Quantitative survey data were collected from 93 participants, in which they were instructed to complete various sets of scales related to team culture, the types of uncertainty, uncertainty reducing strategies, and other relational variables. Qualitative data were also collected from participant responses to an open-ended survey prompt instructing individuals to describe reasons why they felt the other person was their frenemy. Three general types of forensics frenemies were found to exist on the circuit: interpersonal frenemies, structural frenemies, and competition frenemies. Additionally, various significant correlations were found.


Advisors: Mary Lynn Henningsen.||Committee members: Ferald Bryan; Kathleen Valde.


79 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type