The Family Communication Sourcebook provides an in-depth examination of contemporary theory and research in the area of family communication. This unique collection offers a state-of-the art approach by pairing conceptual pieces with original studies in the same general topic area. Editors Lynn H. Turner and Richard West present readers with a thoughtful and thorough exploration of the critical issues facing family communication researchers today.

Methodological Approaches to the Study of Family Communication

Methodological Approaches to the Study of Family Communication

Methodological approaches to the study of family communication
SandraMettsIllinois State University
EmilyLambUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln

This chapter provides a profile of methods used to investigate family communication structures, processes, and effects. Given the broad, interdisciplinary interest in family communication, it is not surprising that methods are diverse, including quantitative as well as naturalistic, qualitative designs. We review relevant methods, describing each briefly, illustrating its application in the family domain using research exemplars and reflecting on design issues. Before discussing quantitative methods, however, we address the definitional scope of this chapter.

The question of how “family” should be defined is an important concern in family communication research. Variables of interest, questions or hypotheses advanced, samples used, and the type of data collected are ...

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