Family Communication: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Family Communication

2nd Edition

By Chris Segrin, Jeanne Flora

© 2011 – Routledge

494 pages

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pub: 2011-05-04
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Family Communication carefully examines state-of-the-art research and theories of family communication and family relationships. In addition to presenting cutting-edge research, it focuses on classic theories and research findings that have influenced and revolutionized the way scholars conceptualize family interaction. This text offers a thorough and up-to-date presentation of scientific research in family communication for both teachers and students of family communication as well as professionals who work with families.

This second edition features:

  • Chapters updated with the latest research, including over 2000 references.
  • Material on understudied family relationships, such as extended family relationships and gay and lesbian relationships
  • Recent research on understudied topics in family communication, including the influence of technology on mate selection, negotiating work and family stress, single parenting, cohabitation, elder abuse, forgiveness in marriage, and the links among communication, culture, and mental health.
  • A revised chapter on parent-child communication, taking a lifespan perspective that helps organize the large body of research in this area.
  • A new chapter devoted to extended family relationships, with special focus on grandparent-grandchild relationships, in-law relationships, and adult children and their parents.
  • An expanded review of family conflict processes, especially in relation to decision making and power.

A companion website provides chapter outlines, exam questions, and PowerPoint slides for students and instructors. Undergraduate readers should find the information easy to understand, while advanced readers, such as graduate students and professionals, will find it a useful reference to classic and contemporary research on family communication and relationships.


"Family Communication offers a thorough and up-to-date presentation of scientific research in family communication for students and teachers of family communication, as well as professionals who work with families." —Family Therapy

"…an intriguing book filled with an integration of current research findings from various disciplines on all aspects of family communication. A very thorough reference section adds scholarly value to the text. Segrin and Flora provide us with an exceptional overview of family communications. The beginning student and experienced clinician would benefit by reading the text. It is the best book on family communication….easy to read, informative, and exceptionally stimulating."The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families

"The text integrates classic and historical research with current and cutting edge research on families, and the result is…comprehensive. One would be hard pressed to find a line of research relevant to families that is not at least referred to here." —Benjamin R. Karney, University of Florida

"The scope and detail in each chapter is very impressive. The literature reviewed is…very up to date. I found the writing accessible and clear….This is clearly a high quality piece of scholarship….It is appropriate for an advanced undergraduate course or introductory master's class." —John Caughlin, University of Illinois

"The authors address some of the major theories used to study family communication, such as: family systems perspective, symbolic interaction, social learning theory, attachment theory, and relational dialectics perspective… [and] provide a nice overview of how the theories fit and support the study of family communication." —Anita Morris and Narissra Punyanunt-Carter, in Communication Booknotes Quarterly

Table of Contents

Part I: Introducing Family Communication and Basic Family Processes.

Defining Family Communication and Family Functioning.

Theoretical Perspectives on Family Communication.

Family Interaction Patterns: Norms and Networks, Routines and Rituals, Stories and Secrets.

Family Interaction Processes: Power, Decision Making, Conflict, and Intimacy.

Part II: Communication in Family Subsystems.

Courtship and Mate Selection.

Marriage and Intimate Partnerships.

Parent-Child Communication.

Sibling Communication.

Extended Family Relationships.

Part III: Communication During Family Stress.

Models of Family Stress and Coping.

Normative and Nonnormative Family Stressors.


Renegotiating Family Communication: Remarriage and Stepfamilies.

Part IV: Family Interaction, Health, and Well-Being.

Family Interaction and Mental Health.

Family Interaction and Physical Health.

Family Violence and Abuse.

Improving Family Communication and Family Relationships.

About the Authors

Chris Segrin (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin) is Professor of Communication and Communication Department head at The University of Arizona. He specializes in interpersonal relationships and mental health. His research can be found in journals such as Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, Communication Research, and Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Jeanne Flora (Ph.D., University of Kansas) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at New Mexico State University. Her research and teaching interests include interpersonal and family relationships, with a focus on relationship development and maintenance. Her research has been published in journals such as Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Family Communication, and Human Communication Research.

About the Series

Routledge Communication Series

The Routledge Communication Series covers the breadth of the communication discipline, from interpersonal communication to public relations, offering textbooks, handbooks, and scholarly reference materials.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies