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The influence of family communication patterns on sexual communication in romantic relationships: a dyadic analysis

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The current study employs dyadic data analysis to explore the intrapersonal and interpersonal antecedents of sexual communication in romantic relationships. Working from a family relational schema theoretical framework (family communication patterns [FCPs]; see Koerner & Fitzpatrick, 2002a), it is argued

The current study employs dyadic data analysis to explore the intrapersonal and interpersonal antecedents of sexual communication in romantic relationships. Working from a family relational schema theoretical framework (family communication patterns [FCPs]; see Koerner & Fitzpatrick, 2002a), it is argued that FCPs within individuals’ family of origin structure their relational schema, which is subsequently associated with their openness and quality of sexual communication in their sexually active romantic relationships. In particular, dyadic data procedures are used to explore the interdependent influence of partners’ FCPs on reported sexual communication. It was predicted that individual (actor effects) and partner (partner effects) reports of FCPs are associated with individuals’ reports of sexual communication within romantic relationships. In addition, alternative models were proposed that predicted FCPs are associated with individuals’ self-schema (i.e., general and sexual self-concept), which is in turn associated with sexual communication. A sample of 216 heterosexual romantic dyads (N = 432) participated in a cross-sectional online questionnaire study. Results from path analyses provide partial support for hypotheses. Specifically, individuals from conversationally-oriented families tended to report higher levels of sexual communication in their romantic relationships. Also, the interaction effect between conversation and conformity orientations indicate that dyads tend to engage in more sexual communication when dyadic partners are from pluralistic families (i.e., high conversation, low conformity), and they engage in less sexual communication when partners are from laissez-faire families (i.e., low conversation, low conformity). Furthermore, FCPs were associated with the general and sexual self-concept (i.e., general self-esteem, general social anxiety, sexual self-esteem, and sexual anxiety), which in turn were associated with sexual communication. This study is important for its contribution to the family, interpersonal, and relational communication literature, as well as for its potential to expand Koerner and Fitzpatrick’s (2002a) theory of family relational schema to more domain-specific areas of communication, like sexual communication.

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2016

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The Roots of Forgiveness Communication in Relation to Families

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Building on research on family communication and forgiveness, this study seeks to understand how families communicate the value and practice of forgiveness. Through semi-structured interviews, the study asks participants to recall their formative conversations and experiences about forgiveness with their

Building on research on family communication and forgiveness, this study seeks to understand how families communicate the value and practice of forgiveness. Through semi-structured interviews, the study asks participants to recall their formative conversations and experiences about forgiveness with their family members and to discuss how those conversations influenced their current perspectives on forgiveness. Interviews from five female undergraduate students yielded seven main themes from where individuals learn how to forgive: 1) Sibling conflicts, 2) Family conversations about friendship conflicts, 3) Conversations with Mom, 4) Living by example, 5) Take the high road, 6) “Life’s too short”, and 7) Messages rooted in faith and morality.

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2021-05