Interpersonal and Family Communication; Communication and Technology
Ph.D., University of Missouri, 2016
My research centers on how people in relationships communicate about and make sense of difficult experiences, particularly during times of relational disruption and change. Much of my current work focuses on siblings’ experiences of relationship transition, with the goal of understanding the communication behaviors that contribute to emotionally close and supportive sibling relationships in adulthood. For my dissertation, I combined phenomenological and dialogic approaches to explore how sibling pairs communicatively co-constructed meaning of their changing relationship as they transitioned from living together to living apart for the first time.Another major focus of my research concerns the role technology plays in interpersonal relationships, communicative sense-making, and the construction of individual and relational identities. I recently completed a co-authored manuscript examining how bereaved siblings construct meaning of their loss through their communication on online grief forums. In addition, a colleague and I are currently analyzing online blog posts written by stay at home fathers to understand how they construct an identity in light of cultural discourses privileging hegemonic masculinity.