Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Communication Quarterly 58:4 (October–December 2010), pp. 458–479.

doi: 10.1080/01463373.2010.525700


Copyright © 2010 Eastern Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis. Used by permission.


This study investigates memorable messages that daughters report hearing from their mothers about romantic relationships to examine the development of meaning in the content of parent-child communication and the ways in which these messages may affect and reflect adult daughters’ relational worldviews. Findings from a study involving 149 adult daughters revealed 4 supra-categories of memorable messages: value self, characteristics of a good relationship, warnings, and value the sanctity of love. Moreover, statistical analyses reveal that memorable message types significantly related to daughter’s romantic relationship schemata as operationalized by Fitzpatrick’s (1988) couple types. Both message and couple type predicted intergenerational transmission.