ERIC Number: ED232225
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
An Overview of Research Literature in Family Communication: 1976-1982.
Masterson, John T.; Beebe, Steven A.
An overview of the literature in family communication since 1976 reveals that a huge body of research continues to focus on the family context but that little of this research is being conducted by scholars whose primary interest is communication. Communication researchers could make a contribution to family communication research if they documented more precise relationships among levels of communication skills attainment, methods of communication training, and the degree of family member satisfaction with the family relationship. Contemporary communication research has drawn upon the conceptual frameworks of descriptive, prescriptive, and systems perspectives. The objective of the descriptive approach is to understand family relationships and the impact of the family unit on society. Studies of coupling, separation, and divorce are among the most common topic areas for those who adopt such a perspective. The prescriptive approach seeks to identify specific behaviors or techniques that can result in an improved communication climate and enhance family member satisfaction with the family unit. The systems approach emphasizes the relationship of all parts of the system (family members) and notes how the individual components of the system relate to one another and affect the whole. Because of its utility and inherent flexibility in accommodating both descriptive and prescriptive approaches to the study of families, the systems approach will probably continue to undergird theoretical frameworks for investigating family communication. (HOD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Speech Communication Association (Orlando, FL, April 6-9, 1983).