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ERIC Number: EJ980330
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 77
ISSN: ISSN-0192-513X
A Typology of Communication Dynamics in Families Living a Slow-Motion Technological Disaster
Orom, Heather; Cline, Rebecca J. W.; Hernandez, Tanis; Berry-Bobovski, Lisa; Schwartz, Ann G.; Ruckdeschel, John C.
Journal of Family Issues, v33 n10 p1299-1323 Oct 2012
With increasing numbers of communities harmed by exposures to toxic substances, greater understanding of the psychosocial consequences of these technological disasters is needed. One community living the consequences of a slow-motion technological disaster is Libby, Montana, where, for nearly 70 years, amphibole asbestos-contaminated vermiculite was mined and processed. Former mine employees and Libby area residents continue to cope with the health consequences of occupational and environmental asbestos exposure and with the psychosocial challenges accompanying chronic and often fatal asbestos-related diseases (ARD). Nine focus groups were conducted with Libby area residents. Transcripts were analyzed to explore patterns of family communication about ARD. The following five patterns emerged: Open/Supportive, Silent/Supportive, Open/Conflictual, Silent/Conflictual, and Silent/Denial. Open/Supportive communication included encouragement to be screened for ARD, information about ARD and related disaster topics, and emotional support for people with ARD. In contrast, communication patterns characterized by silence or conflict have the potential to hinder health-promoting communication and increase psychological distress. (Contains 2 notes and 1 table.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Montana