ERIC Number: ED335722
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May-27
Reference Count: 0
Family Communication and Health: Maintaining Marital Satisfaction and Quality of Life.
Pearson, Judy C.; Sessler, Carol J.
The role of communication in the maintenance of healthy long-term family relationships is an important one. Communication exists within the family as a dynamic and essential force in the maintenance of relationships, and facilitates the development of the satisfied and healthy family. Families are governed by rules, making interactions patterned and predictable. Flexibility in these rules is inherently related to the satisfaction of the family. Two general skills are important: the ability to establish workable rules for interaction and the ability to control the communication to reach desired goals. Even sixth-grade students (who were questioned in North Carolina) recognized the importance of family communication, in commenting on when they felt good and bad about their families. Families have changed greatly in the last two decades, and the communication within such families also needs examination. Each contemporary family type (cohabiting couples, nuclear families, single-parent families, blended families, dual-worker families) is presented with unique problems to overcome. Roles within contemporary families are changing: people play a variety of roles and both women and men are expected to play an increasing number of roles in many families. Communicating role expectations is related to family satisfaction. A balance between autonomy and intimacy is important within the family, and the role of communication in finding it is paramount. Supporting, disclosing, negotiating, positively distorting, communicating needs, and demonstrating understanding of other family members are just a few of the communicative behaviors crucial in creating a family which is healthy and happy. Developing and maintaining flexible communication behaviors is one way toward a more fulfilling family life. (Sixty-seven references are attached.) (SR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Behavior
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (41st, Chicago, IL, May 23-27, 1991).