Family Communication  book cover
3rd Edition

Family Communication

ISBN 9780815354536
Published January 7, 2019 by Routledge
600 Pages 43 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This third edition of Family Communication carefully examines state-of-the art research and theories of family communication and family relationships. In addition to presenting contemporary cutting-edge research, it also includes extensive presentation and application of classic theories and findings in family science that have informed current day understandings of essential family processes. With over 2,500 references, 800 of which are new to this edition, Family Communication represents a current and comprehensive presentation of principled research conducted throughout the world for both students and teachers of family communication. Professionals who work with families and seek an evidence-based understanding of functional and dysfunctional family processes will also find this text useful.

The third edition provides instructors and students with a rich set of resources including:

  • Chapter Specific Resource Guides (chapter outlines, guiding questions, multiple choice, essay, and discussion questions, as well as numerous media resources and links)
  • Chapter Specific PowerPoint Slides
  • Sample Syllabus

This edition addresses long-standing questions (e.g., how to maintain a marriage, how to build resiliency in remarriages and stepfamilies) and prioritizes research on a variety of family relationships beyond the couple and parent–child relationship, while also exploring new research on romantic relationship pathways, same-sex marriage and divorce, parenting trends, as well as military families, adoptive families, and families with a transgender member. It also examines the complex relationship between family communication and mental health as well as powerful and potentially surprising findings on the connections between family interaction and physical health.

Table of Contents


Part I: Introducing Family Communication and Basic Family Processes

1. Defining Family Communication and Family Functioning

2. Theoretical Perspectives on Family Communication

3. Family Discourse and Identity: Stories, Secrets, and Rituals

4. Family Communication Patterns and Processes: Power, Decision Making, and Conflict

Part II: Communication in Family Subsystems

5. Romantic Relationship Development and Mate Selection

6. Marriage and Committed Relationships

7. Parent-Child Communication

8. Sibling Communication

9. Extended Family Relationships

Part III: Communication during Family Stress

10. Models of Family Stress and Coping

11. Normative and Nonnormative Family Stressors

12. Divorce

13. Renegotiating Family Communication: Remarriage and Stepfamilies

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

14. Family Interaction and Mental Health

15. Family Interaction and Physical Health

16. Family Violence and Abuse

17. Improving Family Communication and Family Relationships

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Chris Segrin is Steve and Nancy Lynn Professor of Communication and Communication Department head at The University of Arizona. His research is on interpersonal relationships and mental health and can be found in journals such as Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Family Relations, Journal of Family Psychology, and Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. This research has been funded by the American Cancer Society, The National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the Livestrong Foundation.

Jeanne Flora is Professor of Communication Studies at New Mexico State University. Her research and teaching focuses on interpersonal and family relationships, with an emphasis on relationship development and maintenance. Her research can be found in journals such as Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Family Communication, and Human Communication Research.


"Segrin and Flora offer a comprehensive, up-to-date review of research on family communication that is engaging and eminently readable. They masterfully translate complex theories into clear, thought-provoking prose. They bring sophisticated concepts to life using interesting examples that students will see as both timely and relevant."Anita L. Vangelisti, The University of Texas at Austin

"Clearly written and incredibly comprehensive. Segrin and Flora have woven a beautiful tapestry that integrates the vast and interdisciplinary research on family communication processes. This book is a must-have for relationship and family scholars in all disciplines."—Brian G. Ogolsky, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign