Family Communication: Study Guide
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Family Communication: Teleclass Study Guide
Kathleen M. Galvin
This course provides an overview of the family as a communication system. Strong focus is placed on interaction patterns within a range of family types and structures. The course is based on an analytic framework which includes cohesion and adaptability as well as secondary family functions. Topics such as the following are directly addressed: multigenerational communication influences, ethnicity and family interaction, family communication patterns as reflected in rituals, narratives and rules, the development and maintenance of intimacy among family members, family conflict models and constructive vs. destructive conflict strategies, decision making, and developmental change. Final course segments address communication in a variety of family forms and range of ways of improving family communication. In short, this is a course about interaction patterns among family members in multiple types of families.
This course includes a series of videotapes. This study guide is used as a guide throughout the entire course. Each class is summarized through identification of key concepts, reading assignments, and suggestions for journal assignments within the study guide.
CLASS 1 Introduction: Communication Patterns and Families
Philosophy of course. Definition and types of families. Definition of communication. Course assumptions. Featuring: Dr. William Pinsof, President and CEO of The Family Institute at Northwestern University and Professor, Northwestern University.
CLASS 2 Family Communication Framework: Part I
Communication patterns. Introduction to framework of functions. Primary functions - cohesion patterns, adaptability patterns. Featuring: Professor Douglas Kelley, Arizona State University-West; Dr. Charles Wilkinson, Marriage and Family Therapist.
CLASS 3 Family Communication Framework: Part II
Overview of supporting functions. Themes. Images. Boundaries. Biosocial issues. Featuring: Dr. Charles Wilkinson, Marriage and Family Therapist.
CLASS 4 The Family as a Communication System
Introduction to the family as a system. Selected system concepts - interdependence, patterns/rules, interactive complexity and punctuation, organizational complexity. Limitations of systems perspective.
CLASS 5 Multigenerational Influences: Family-of-Origin Patterns
Introduction to family-of-origin. Overview of unique family and cultural heritage. Genogram models of family patterns. Featuring: Dr. Charles Wilkinson, Marriage and Family Therapist.
CLASS 6 Multigenerational Influences: Cultural Patterns
Roles of ethnicity and culture in family conception and family values. Communication issues and ethnicity, managing conflict, sharing affection. Featuring: Professor Rhunette Diggs, University of Louisville; Aspasia Apostolakis, Michelle Charles, Prakash Charles, Cheryl Coffey-Curry, Kate Mini, Ron Washington, Juan Zuniga, Master of Science in Communication students, Northwestern University.
CLASS 7 Communication Rules and Family Secrets
Overview of communication rules, their functions and sources. Types and functions of family secrets. Consideration of how both affect family boundaries. Featuring: Professor Anita Vangelisti, University of Texas- Austin; Dr. Charles Wilkinson, Marriage and Family Therapist.
CLASS 8 Family Stories: Messages and Meanings
Functions and meanings of family stories. The questions family stories answer. The importance of stories to all families. Performance aspects of family storytelling. Featuring: Professor Rives Collins, Northwestern University.
CLASS 9 Developing Intimate Family Relationships
Introduction to relational culture and dialectical struggles. Focus on relational currencies and the sharing of affection within families. Emphasis on meaning and congruence of currencies. Featuring: Dr. Charles Wilkinson, Marriage and Family Therapist; Professor Julia Wood, University of North Carolina.
CLASS 10 Sustaining Family Relationships: Communication Rituals
Introduction to rituals and their functions in sustaining marital and family relationships. Specific focus on types and functions of marital rituals, particularly communication rituals. Studio Guest: Professor Carol Bruess, Hamline University.
CLASS 11 Sustaining Family Relationships: Talk and Self-Disclosure
Role of everyday talk in creating and maintaining a relationship. Specific focus on general talk and its unique meanings, debriefing conversations and self-disclosure. Featuring: Professor Anita Vangelisti, University of Texas-Austin; Professor Julia Wood, University of North Carolina.
CLASS 12 Sexuality and Family Communication
Importance of talking about sex within families. Focus on parent-child interaction, sexually healthy vs. sexually unhealthy families, and partners' sexual communication. Featuring: Maureen Sheehy, M.S.W., Family Life Educator, Evanston, Illinois.
CLASS 13 Constructing Family Roles through Communication
Introduction to family roles from interactive perspective. Focus on family role functions with special attention to kinship maintenance and gender socialization. Featuring: Dr. Charles Wilkinson, Marriage and Family Therapist; Professor Julia Wood, University of North Carolina.
CLASS 14 Communication and the Work/Family Juggling Act
The dilemmas of balancing work and family and implications for communication. Exploration of specific challenges and ideological models. Featuring: Professor Julia Wood, University of North Carolina. Studio Guests: Brian Cooper and Sharon Holyfield Cooper, dual-career couple.
CLASS 15 Family and Marital Typologies and Communication
Examination of selected family and marital typologies, or ways of organizing relational life typologies and Gottman's couple typologies. Featuring: Dean Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, University of South Carolina.
CLASS 16 Decision Making and Power in Families
Overview of family decision making styles and issues. Consideration of interrelationship between decision making and power. Studio Guest: Emeritus Professor Bernard Brommel, Northeastern Illinois University.
CLASS 17 Family Conflict Patterns
Examination of marital and family conflict. Focus on definition and misperceptions. Development of patterns including family-of-origin, ethnicity, gender and developmental stage. Family conflict stages. Featuring: Professor Douglas Kelley, Arizona State University-West; Professor Michael Roloff, Northwestern University.
CLASS 18 Destructive/Constructive Family Conflict
Examination of destructive and constructive communication patterns. Destructive patterns include verbal aggression and parent hostility. Constructive patterns include empathic listening and guidelines for fair fighting. Featuring: Professor Teresa Sabourin, University of Cincinnati; Professor Douglas Kelley, Arizona State University-West.
Class 19 Studying Marital Interaction: John Gottman's Research Program
An introduction to the over twenty years of marital interactions research of John Gottman and his associates. Overview of the marital research laboratory. Focus on marital styles, the negativity-to-positivity ratio, the "Four Horsemen" of marital dissolution and the role of physiological processes in this research. Featuring: Professor John Gottman, University of Washington.
CLASS 20 Developmental Change: Life Cycle Communication Patterns
Consideration of communication issues confronted as families move through predictable family developmental stages. Introduction to family life cycle models, discussion of traditional model. Specific focus on transition to parenthood. Featuring: Professor Glen Stamp, Ball State University.
CLASS 21 Developmental Change: Communication-Related Issues
Continuation of developmental issues. Examination of communication concerns and the following issues: change and satisfaction, life course approach, importance of transitions, markers and rituals. Featuring: Professor Michael Roloff, Northwestern University.
CLASS 22 Family Stress and Communication: The Divorce Process
Examination of the power of unpredictable stresses on everyday family functioning. Models of family coping and the communication processes involved. Case study of divorce and communication. Featuring: Professor Marcia Dixson, Indiana-Purdue University.
CLASS 23 Communication in Single Parent and Other Family Forms
An overview of the specific communication dimensions of single parent families, gay male and lesbian families and adoptive families. Featuring: Professor Marcia Dixson, Indiana-Purdue University.
CLASS 24 Communication Patterns in Stepfamilies
Examination of the specific communication issues involved in stepfamily interaction. Focus on stepfamily characteristics, developmental stages and the communication challenges involved in voluntary and involuntary relationships. Studio Guest: Professor Pamela Cooper, Northwestern University.
CLASS 25 Improving Family Communication: Instruction and Therapy
Introduction to a range of approaches to improving family communication including personal, educational and therapeutic strategies to bring about change. Featuring: Professor Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dr. William Pinsof, President and CEO of The Family Institute at Northwestern and Professor, Northwestern University.
CLASS 26 Optimal Family Communication Patterns
An overview of ways individuals, partners and family members communicate in order to enhance everyday interaction. Focus on emotion coaching, storytelling and reading, listening. Summary of key course concepts. Featuring: Professor Rives Coffins, Northwestern University; Professor John Gottman,University of Washington. Studio Guest: Dr. Charles Wilkinson, Marriage and Family Therapist.