Widening the Family Circle: New Research on Family Communication

Front Cover
SAGE Publications, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 259 pages
Research on communication within the family has traditionally focused a great deal of attention on marriage and biological, custodial parent-child relationships and much less attention on the many other relationships that constitute the family experience. This significant oversight within the literature on communication within the family is further magnified by the basic reality that most families have more than one child, a living grandparent, sibling-in-laws, nieces and nephews, cousins and increasingly, step-children. Clearly, the rich experience of family relationships extends far beyond marriage or biological, parent-child relationships, yet our understanding of communication processes in these types of family relationships is deficient.

This volume addresses this significant gap in the family communication literature by bringing together a diverse collection of empirical studies, theoretical essays and critical reviews of literature on communication within the large category of family relationships. As such, this book serves as a valuable primary resource for information on ten different types of family relationships, constituting a stronger and more complete understanding of communication within the family. Further, the book serves as a useful supplement to traditional texts on the family for teachers and students of family communication and family psychology. This book brings together the best of the research being conducted on various types of family relationships and showcases the work of some of the most respected scholars within the field of family communication.

Key Features:

Family relationships explored in the text include: stepfamilies; mothers/adult daughters; adult siblings; grandparents; adoptive; fathers/adult sons; parents- and siblings-in-law; and post-divorce.

Each chapter answers the following questions: What constitutes the relationship (and why has it been historically understudied)?What are the unique communicative strengths and challenges of the relationship? What the most important findings to come out of the research that has been done in this area? What will be the most important questions about this relationship for future discussion and research to consider?


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FamilyofOrigin Relationships 1
Adult Sibling Relationships 21
Mens Perceptions
Commentary on Part A 57
Extended Family Relationships 63
Commentary on Part B 129
Relationships Created Through
Understudied Relationships in Family Communication
References 207
Index 245
About the Editors 253

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About the author (2006)

Kory Floyd (Ph.D, University of Arizona) is Professor and Associate Director in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the communication of affection in families and other intimate relationships, and on the interplay between communication, physiology, and health. He has written or edited multiple books and journal articles, is the former chair of the Family Communication division of the National Communication Association, and is currently editor of Communication Monographs.

Mark T. Morman (Ph.D, University of Kansas) is Director of Graduate Studies and professor of communication at Baylor University. His research focuses on affectionate communication and intimacy within families and close relationships, and he has published several articles in both regional and national communication journals. Dr. Morman has served as chair of both the Family Communication Division and the Interpersonal Communication Divison of the National Communication Association, and currently serves on the editorial board of Communication Monographs.

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