Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Western Journal of Communication 71: 3 (July 2007), pp. 216–234. doi:10.1080/10570310701510077


Copyright © 2007 Western States Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


This study explored frequencies of everyday talk in stepfamilies and the extent to which such frequencies of talk differed according to family relationship type. Participants included a parent, stepparent, and stepchild from 114 stepfamilies. Across relationship types, stepfamily members reported catching up, joking around, and recapping the day’s events most frequently and interrogating family members least frequently. Significant differences in frequencies of everyday talk across different relational dyads emerged for all three members of the stepfamily system. However, relatively few differences emerged in stepchildren’s reported frequencies of everyday talk with their stepparents and their nonresidential parents.