Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Family Theory & Review 6 (March 2014), pp 97–111


Copyright © 2014 National Council on Family Relations; published by John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission.


From the disciplinary perspective of communication studies, we review theory and research in family communication, including a brief history of the family communication field; the contributions of a family communication perspective; and 5 theories of family communication: communication accommodation theory, communication privacy management theory, family communication patterns theory, narrative theor(ies), and relational dialectics theory. We then illustrate the concept of discourse dependence in family communication processes and discuss current trends in family communication research. We also suggest emerging directions for family communication scholarship.