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Full-Text Articles in Interpersonal and Small Group Communication

How Adolescents Perceive Their Parents' Communication About Sex: Toward Reducing Adolescent Sexual Risk, Amanda J. Holman Jun 2014

How Adolescents Perceive Their Parents' Communication About Sex: Toward Reducing Adolescent Sexual Risk, Amanda J. Holman

Communication Studies Theses, Dissertations, and Student Research

The “sex talk” is often one of the most challenging conversations for parents and children during adolescence. Research has established that parent-adolescent communication about sex can greatly reduce adolescents’ sexual risk (Guilamo-Ramos et al., 2012; Miller, Benson, & Galbraith, 2001). However, many parents still avoid these conversations due to uncertainty or lack of confidence in how to best educate their children on topics such as sexual health and relationships. Plus, little is known about family communication about sex from the adolescent perspective. In order to develop more comprehensive strategies for parents to engage in these challenging conversations, the present dissertation examined adolescents’ perceptions of parent-adolescent communication about sex, including what adolescents report that their parents say about sex, the degree to which these messages are perceived as effective and competent by adolescents, and how parental messages as well as the larger family environment relates to sexual risk.

One hundred and fifty-nine high school adolescents (M age = 16.66 years) completed an online survey about actual and ideal parent-child conversations about sex, as well as adolescents’ perceptions of attitudes, behaviors, and family communication climate related to sexual risk. Through inductive analyses, six parent-adolescent conversation themes emerged, including safety, underdeveloped/unsuccessful, warning/threat, no talk, comprehensive-talk, and wait. Adolescents’ perceived comprehensive-talk and safety conversations as most competent and effective compared to other conversation themes. In addition, results revealed five themes related to ways parents could have made the conversations ideal, including no change, be more specific/provide guidance, talk to me, collaborate, and appropriateness. Besides assessing these themes as separate units of information, further analyses revealed distinct patterns between the actual and ideal conversation themes. The analyses also showed that perceived parental communication competence and effectiveness were the strongest negative predictors of adolescents’ permissive sexual attitudes and sexual risk-taking; whereas peer communication frequency was a significant positive predictor in adolescents’ permissive sexual attitudes and sexual risk-taking. Overall, family communication climate (e.g. conversation orientation and conformity orientation) was unrelated to adolescents’ sexual risk. The implications for these findings are provided, as well as limitations and future recommendations for researchers and parents.

Advisor: Jody Koenig Kellas


Reconsidering Childfreedom: A Feminist Exploration Of Discursive Identity Construction In Childfree Livejournal Communities, Julia Moore Jun 2014

Reconsidering Childfreedom: A Feminist Exploration Of Discursive Identity Construction In Childfree Livejournal Communities, Julia Moore

Papers in Communication Studies

This article employs participant definitional analysis, sensitized with feminist poststructuralism and critical ethnography, to understand three identity construction processes that members of childfree LiveJournal communities participate in: (a) naming childfreedom, (b) negotiating childfreedom, and (c) enacting childfreedom. I argue that childfree identities are contested and sometimes activist. Ultimately, I call for scholars to reconsider the definition of childfree to account for the complex and nuanced identities constructed by individuals who identify as such.


An Examination Of The Role Of Social Support, Coping Strategies, And Individual Characteristics In Students’ Adaptation To College, Arleen Bejerano May 2014

An Examination Of The Role Of Social Support, Coping Strategies, And Individual Characteristics In Students’ Adaptation To College, Arleen Bejerano

Communication Studies Theses, Dissertations, and Student Research

Adaptation, or adjustment, is a psycho-social process that occurs when an individual accepts and integrates into his or her life a transition from one situation to another situation (Schlossberg, 1981). Many individuals struggle with transitions because transitions involve changes in the environment, roles, routines, and/or ways of looking at the world. The present investigation examines the transition from high school to college, and explores the interpersonal and individual ways that students manage the changes accompanying this transition. Using Transition Theory as a framework, students’ social support networks, coping strategies, self-esteem, and depression are posited to influence students’ adaptation to ...


“I Need Numbers Before I Will Buy It”: Reading And Writing Qualitative Scholarship On Close Relationships, Dawn O. Braithwaite, Julia Moore, Jenna Stephenson Abetz Jan 2014

“I Need Numbers Before I Will Buy It”: Reading And Writing Qualitative Scholarship On Close Relationships, Dawn O. Braithwaite, Julia Moore, Jenna Stephenson Abetz

Papers in Communication Studies

The authors highlight important contributions of qualitative research for the study of close relationships, arguing for greater representation of this scholarship in the journals. Four challenges experienced by interpretive researchers trying to publish in Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and close relationship journals are discussed.


Empowered And Engaged: Exploring Social Media Best Practices For Nonprofits, Tessa Warner, Alexis Abel, Frauke Hachtmann Jan 2014

Empowered And Engaged: Exploring Social Media Best Practices For Nonprofits, Tessa Warner, Alexis Abel, Frauke Hachtmann

Faculty Publications, College of Journalism & Mass Communications

Although nonprofits see value and potential in social media, many have not yet mastered social media and harnessed their full potential. This phenomenological study sought to identify the best social media strategies and tactics for effectively engaging existing and potential donors, volunteers and stakeholders, according to social media nonprofit professionals. Six themes emerged: listening to the audience; engaging instead of fundraising; sharing relevant, valuable and actionable content; being honest, accessible and responsive; using social media as part of a multi-channel strategy; and that measuring is mandatory.


Meeting Information Needs Of Cocoa Farmers In Selected Communities In The Eastern Region Of Ghana, Dominic Agyei Dankwah, Osman Hawa Jan 2014

Meeting Information Needs Of Cocoa Farmers In Selected Communities In The Eastern Region Of Ghana, Dominic Agyei Dankwah, Osman Hawa

Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal)

Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the information needs of cocoa farmers in Oda, Asamankese, Kade and Nkawkaw districts in the Eastern Region of Ghana. It seeks to identify the value cocoa farmers place on information, the various sources and services of information available to them and the level of satisfaction they derive from these sources and services.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper used the survey research. It made use of both the purposive and snowball sampling techniques to select the 4 communities and 160 respondents respectively. A total of 136 questionnaires out of 160 questionnaires that were administered were ...