SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Dorrance Hall, E., McNallie, J., Custers, K., Timmermans, E., Wilson, S. R., & Van den Bulck, J. (2017). A cross-cultural examination of the mediating role of family support and parental advice quality on the relationship between family communication patterns and first-year college student adjustment in the United States and Belgium. Communication Research, 44, 638–667.

Abstract: This study examines how college students’ family communication environments influence their adjustment during the first year of college in two distinct cultures: Belgium (n = 513) and the United States (n = 431). Three structural equation models were tested to determine the mediating effects of (a) perceived family support, (b) quality of academic advice from parents, and (c) quality of social advice from parents on associations between family communication patterns (FCPs) and student adjustment. Although most relationships are more complicated than predicted based on FCP theory and research, several patterns occur across models and populations. Conversation orientation tends to foster positive adjustment for both cultures while conformity orientation promotes negative adjustment for Belgian students. In addition, perceived family support and advice quality mediate several relationships between FCP and academic self-efficacy, college stress, and loneliness. Differences between the two cultures, theoretical implications for FCP, and practical implications for academic counselors are discussed along with avenues for future research.

Journal Article 2: Johnson, M. D., Nguyen, L., Anderson, J. R., Liu, W., & Vennum, A. (2015). Pathways to romantic relationship success among Chinese young adult couples: Contributions of family dysfunction, mental health problems, and negative couple interaction. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 32, 5–23.

Abstract: Using dyadic data from 200 young adult couples (aged 18–31 years) in Mainland China and guided by the Development of Early Adult Romantic Relationships model (Bryant & Conger, 2002), the current study evaluated direct and indirect associations between family of origin dysfunction and intimate relationship success via the potential mediators of mental health problems and negative couple interaction. Results demonstrated male partner family dysfunction was associated directly and indirectly with lower relationship success via negative couple interaction. Female partner family dysfunction was related to their own reduced relationship success via mental health problems and less relationship success for male partners via mental health problems and negative couple interaction. Implications for intervention, theory development, and future research are discussed.

Journal Article 3: Mikucki-Enyart, S. L., & Caughlin, J. P. (2018). Integrating the relational turbulence model and a multiple goals approach to understand topic avoidance during the transition to extended family. Communication Research, 45, 267–296.

Abstract: This study focuses on the transition to extended family that occurs as marriage creates in-law relationships along with the spousal unit. Specifically, it utilizes both the relational turbulence model and the multiple goals perspective to examine variations in communication avoidance and satisfaction with one’s in-law relationship. Our model proposes that key mechanisms of relational turbulence (i.e., relational uncertainty and interference from partners) are associated with in-law’s communicative goals (such as managing uncertainty, fostering a positive in-law identity, and maintaining family relationships), which in turn are associated with topic avoidance. In addition, we hypothesized that relational uncertainty, interference from partners, and the use of topic avoidance would be associated with dissatisfaction in nascent in-law bonds. A cross-sectional analysis of data from 203 children-in-law revealed that in addition to direct associations among relational uncertainty, interference from partners, topic avoidance, and satisfaction, children-in-law’s uncertainty management goals mediated a portion of the association between the mechanisms of turbulence and topic avoidance. These findings are consistent with our proposed model, suggesting important implications for our understanding of the transition to extended family, as well as our understanding of relational turbulence and multiple goals in in-law relationships.

Journal Article 4: Schrodt, P., & Afifi, T. D. (2018). A social relations model of negative relational disclosures and closeness in families. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 35, 180–201.

Abstract: This study examined the intrapersonal and interpersonal mechanisms underlying family member reports of negative relational disclosures and closeness. Participants included a mother, father, and young adult child from 170 families (N = 510). Social relations analyses revealed that negative relational disclosures and closeness vary across family relationships as a function of actor and relationship effects. Mothers’ reports of negative disclosures from other family members varied primarily as a function of actor effects, whereas their closeness varied as a function of relationship and partner effects. Dyadic reciprocity emerged in both the father–child and spousal relationships. Fathers who received negative disclosures from their spouse and their child were more likely to have both family members report being closer to them, respectively.