Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Western Journal of Communication, 2017, 19 pp. doi: 10.1080/10570314.2017.1299881


Copyright © 2017 Western States Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


Family kinkeepers enact an important role centered on interaction and maintaining family relationships. The researchers studied kinkeeping communication in light of mediated communication, topics engaged, and kinkeepers’ assessments. Thirty-four self-identified kinkeepers kept an interaction diary over 2 weeks. Their 275 reports represented 1,487 interactions using largely mediated communication channels (text, telephone, e-mail, social media), centered on everyday activities, rituals, and health and safety. Despite potential complications of the role, kinkeepers reported high agreement and openness with family members, little conflict, and overall satisfaction with their interactions. Implications of these findings, new directions for researchers, and the important mediated role of family kinkeeping are discussed.