Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Western Journal of Communication 73:1 (January–March 2009), pp. 67–90; doi: 10.1080/10570310802636334


Copyright © 2009 Western States Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis. Used by permission.


From the perspective of daughters-in-law (N = 190), this study examined communicative and relational factors associated with positive and negative mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships. A structural model tested perceptions of shared family identity as a mediator between communicative factors (supportive communication, nonaccommodation, self-disclosure), family-of-origin factors, and daughter-in-law intentions regarding caregiving and future contact with the mother-in-law. Further, open-ended responses were content analyzed to identify additional relational aspects associated with satisfying mother-in-law relationships. Results from both analyses were integrated into a conceptual model to guide future research on this relationship.