Jeffrey T. Child

Jeffrey T. Child

School of Communication Studies
Associate Professor
Office Location:
101B Taylor Hall
Contact Information


Jeff has over 30 publications that advance an understanding of communication in three main areas: 1) communication technologies and human interaction, 2) interpersonal and family communication from diverse cultural perspectives, and 3) instructional communication effectiveness.

In the first area Jeff has been particularly interested in utilizing Communication Privacy Management (CPM) theory (Petronio, 2002) as a framework for understanding how users of social media think about the overall management of their online disclosures. In the second area Jeff explores how the family reflects a unique culture where unique rules, role, and communication practices emerge and ensue. His scholarship in this area examines communication about family problems, how families coordinate narratives and cover stories among members for effective functioning, family communication practices in different cultures, and finally how relational cultures are developed and sustained through the establishment of rituals. The final area of Jeff’s expertise in instructional communication began when he was a basic course director at NDSU and established a practice of making all curricular changes from an assessment and data-based standpoint. His research in instructional communication informs effective classroom communication practices.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities


  • Petronio, S., & Child, J. T. (in press). Disclosing privacy information: Newly married couple’s embarrassing dilemmas. In D. Braithwaite, J. Child, K. Rosetto, & J. Wood. Casing Interpersonal Communication.
  • Starcher, S. C., & Child, J. T. (in press). Openness of parental disclosures about depression with children: Examining the impact of family privacy management and stigma. Western Journal of Communication.
  • Child, J. T. (in press). Family communication as boundary. In J. Manning, J. Allen, & K. Denker (Eds.), Family communication as … metaphors for thinking about family communication
  • Petronio, S., Child, J. T., & Hall, R. D. (2022). Communication privacy management theory: significance for interpersonal communication. In D. Braithwaite & P. Schrodt (Eds.), Engaging theories in interpersonal communication (3rd ed., pp. 314-327). Routledge.
  • Child, J. T., & Starcher, S. C. (2020). Examining health communication practices and social support through mediated channels: A communication privacy management (CPM) theory perspective. In N. Egbert & K. Wright (Eds.), Social support and health in the digital age (pp. 193-206). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
  • Child, J. T., & Starcher, S. C. (2020). Measurement issues and trends in family communication research. In E. Graham & J. Mazer (Eds.), Communication research measures (3rd ed., pp. 20-35). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Petronio, S., & Child, J. T. (2020). Conceptualization and operationalization: Utility of communication privacy management theory. Current Opinion in Psychology, 31, 76-82.
  • Child, J. T., & Compton, C. A. (2019). A communication privacy management analysis of an end of life admission. In T. Avtgis, A. Rancer, E. MacGeorge, & C. Liberman (Eds.), Casing communication theory (pp. 77-88). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.
  • Wang, T. R., & Child, J. T. (2019). Perspectives on teaching the family communication course. Journal of Communication Pedagogy, 2, 3-6. doi:10.31466/jcp.2019.02
  • Beam, M. A., Child, J. T., Hutchens, M. J., & Hmielowski, J.D. (2018). Context collapse and privacy management: Diversity in Facebook friends increases online news reading and sharing. New Media & Society, 20, 2296-2314. doi: 10.1177/146144817714790
  • Child, J. T., & Haridakis, P. H. (2018). Uses and gratifications: Considering media use in the context of family communication. In D. Braithwaite, E. Suter, & K. Floyd (Eds.), Engaging theories in family communication: Multiple perspectives (2nd ed., pp. 337-348). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Egbert, N., Child, J. T., Lin, M., Savery, C., & Bosley, T. (2017). How older adults and their families perceive family talk about aging-related EOL issues: A dialectical analysis. Behavioral Sciences, 7(2), 1-8. doi: 10.3390/bs7020021
  • Child, J. T. (2017). A primer on conducting and summarizing research. In J. Ponder (Ed.), Foundations of communication (pp. 23-30). Southlake, TX: Fountainhead press.
  • Child, J. T., & Staracher, S. C. (2016). Fuzzy Facebook privacy boundaries: Exploring mediated lurking, vague-booking, and Facebook privacy management. Computers in Human Behavior, 54, 483-490. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.08.035
  • Child, J. T., Duck, A. R., Andrews, L. A., Butauski, M., & Petronio, S. (2015). Young adults’ management of privacy on Facebook with multiple generations of family members. Journal of Family Communication, 15, 349-367. doi:10.1080/1527431.2015.1076425
  • Cline, R. W., Orom, H., Child, J. T., Hernandez, T., & Black, B. (2015). Social support functions during a slowly-evolving environmental disaster: The case of amphibole asbestos. Health Communication. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2014.922456
  • Child, J. T., & Petronio, S. (2015). Privacy management matters in digital family communication. In C. J. Bruess (Ed.). Family communication in the age of digital and social media (pp. 32-54). New York, NY: Peter Lang.
  • Child, J. T. (2015a). Opening closed doors: Managing identity and privacy with social media. In D.O. Braithwaite & J.T. Wood (Eds.), Casing interpersonal communication: Case studies in personal and social relationships (2nd ed., pp. 75- 80). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.
  • Child, J. T. (2015b). Research methods and the study of family communication practices. In L. H. Turner & R. West (Eds.). The Sage handbook of family communication (pp. 58-73). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Petronio, S., Helft, P.R., & Child, J. T. (2013). A case of error disclosure: A communication privacy management analysis. Journal of Public Health Research, 30, 175-181.
  • Frampton, B. D., & Child, J. T. (2013). Friend or not to friend: Coworker Facebook friend requests as an application of communication privacy management theory. Computers in Human Behavior, 29, 2257-2264.
  • Mattern, J. L., Child, J. T., Vanhorn, S. B., & Gronewold, K. L. (2013). Matching creativity perceptions and capabilities: Exploring the impact of feedback messages. Journal of Advertising Education, 17, 13-25.
  • Child, J. T., & Westermann, D. A. (2013). Let’s be Facebook friends: Exploring Parental Facebook friend requests from a communication privacy management (CPM) perspective. Journal of Family Communication, 13, 46-59.
  • Child, J. T., & Haridakis, P. M., & Petronio, S. (2012). Blogging privacy rule orientations, privacy management, and content deletion practices: The variability of online privacy management activity at different stages of social media use. Computers in Human Behavior, 28, 1859-1872. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2012.05.004
  • Pearson, J. C., Child, J. T., DeGreeff, B. L., Semlak, J. L., & Burnett, A. (2011). The influence of biological sex, self-esteem, and communication apprehension on unwillingness to communicate. Atlantic Journal of Communication, 19, 216-227.
  • Child, J. T., Petronio, S, Agyeman-Budu, E. A., & Westermann, D. A. (2011). Blog scrubbing: Exploring triggers that change privacy rules. Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 2017-2027. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2011.05.009
  • Pearson, J. C., Child, J. T., & Carmon, A. F. (2011). HHUURituals in dating relationships: The development and validation of a measure.UUHH  Communication Quarterly, 59, 359- 379.
  • Child, J. T., & Petronio, S. (2011). Unpacking the paradoxes of privacy in CMC relationships: The challenges of blogging and relational communication on the internet. In K. B. Wright & L. M. Webb (Eds.), Computer-mediated communication in personal relationships (pp. 21-40). New York: Peter Lang.
  • Pearson, J. C., Child, J. T., & Carmon, A. F. (2010). Rituals in committed romantic relationships: The development and validation of a measure. Communication Studies, 61, 464-483.
  • Child, J. T., & Agyeman-Budu, E. A. (2010). HHUUBlogging privacy management rule development: The impact of self-monitoring skills, concern for appropriateness, and blogging frequency.UUHH  Computers in Human Behavior, 26, 957-963.
  • Pearson, J. C., Child, J. T., Herakova, L., Semlak, J. L., & Angelos, J. (2010). HHUUCompetent public speaking: Assessing skill development in the basic course.UUHH Basic Communication Course Annual, 22, 39-86.
  • Child, J. T., Pearson, J. C., & Petronio, S. (2009). HHUUBlogging, communication, and privacy management: Development of the blogging privacy management measure.UUHH Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60, 2079-2094. doi: 10.1002/asi.21122
  • Vevea, N. N., Pearson, J. C., Child, J. T., & Semlak, J. (2009/2010). The only thing to fear is...public speaking?: Exploring predictors of communication apprehension in the public speaking classroom. Journal of the Communication, Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota, 22, 1-8.
  • Pearson, J. C., Child, J. T., Carmon, A. F., & Miller, A. N., (2009). HHUUThe influence of intimacy rituals and biological sex on relational quality and relational intimacy among dating couples.UUHH Communication Research Reports, 26, 297-310.
  • Casper, M. F., & Child, J. T. (2009). Embedded reporting and audience response: Parasocial interaction and perceived realism in embedded news reporting from the Iraq war on television news.UUHH  In P. M. Haridakis, B. S. Hugenberg, & S. T. Wearden (Eds.), War and the media: Essays on news reporting, propaganda and popular culture (pp. 205-221). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.
  • Pearson, J. C., Casper, M. F., Child, J. T., & Spiering, K. (2008). Family problem solving: A comparative study of adult children in Puerto Rico and the upper midwest.UUHH  Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 37, 139-156.
  • Sigler, K., Burnett, A., & Child, J. T. (2008). A regional analysis of assertiveness. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 37, 89-104.
  • Pearson, J. C., Carmon, A. F., Child, J. T., & Semlak, J. L. (2008). Why the range in grades?: An attempt to explain the variance in students public speaking grades. Communication Quarterly, 56, 392-406.
  • VanHorn, S. B., Pearson, J. C., & Child, J. T. (2008). The online communication course: The challenges.UUHH  Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 9, 29-36. 
  • Pearson, J. C., & Child, J. T. (2008). The gentle art of persuasion: The influence of biological sex, previous experience, and preparation time on classroom public speaking grades.Basic Communication Course Annual, 20, 101-137
  • Child, J. T., Pearson, J. C., & Amundson, N. G. (2007). Technology talk: Public speaking textbooks’ coverage of information retrieval technology systems. Communication Quarterly, 55, 267-281.
  • Child, J. T., & Shumate, M. (2007). The impact of communal knowledge repositories and people-based knowledge management on perceptions of team effectiveness.  Management Communication Quarterly, 21, 29-54. 
  • Pearson, J. C., DeWitt, L., Child, J. T., Kahl, D., & Dandamudi, V. (2007). Facing the fear: An analysis of speech-anxiety content in public-speaking textbooks. Communication Research Reports, 24, 159-168. 
  • Pearson, J. C., & Child, J. T. (2007). A cross cultural comparison of parental and peer attachment styles among adult children from the United States, Puerto Rico, and India. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 36, 15-32. 
  • Pearson, J. C., Child, J. T., Mattern, J. L., & Kahl, D. H. (2006). What are students being taught about ethics in public speaking textbooks? Communication Quarterly, 54, 507-521. 
  • Casper, M. F., Child, J. T., Gilmour, D., McIntyre, K. A., & Pearson, J. C. (2006). Healthy research perspectives: Incorporating college student experiences with alcohol. Health Communication, 20, 289-298. 
  • Pearson, J. C., Child, J. T., & Kahl, D. H. (2006). Preparation meeting opportunity: How do college students prepare for public speeches?  Communication Quarterly, 54, 351-366. 
  • Child, J. T., Pearson, J. C., & Nagao, M. (2006). Elusive family problems reported by Japanese college students: An examination of theme variation and methodology. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 35, 45-59. 
  • Gorsline, D., Holl, A., Pearson, J. C., & Child, J. T. (2006). It’s more than drinking, drugs, and sex: College students’ perceptions of family problems. College Student Journal, 40, 802-807. 
  • Hest, T. L., Pearson, J. C., & Child, J. T. (2006). An investigation of family storytelling as a communication practice. In L. H. Turner & R. West (Eds.), The family communication sourcebook (pp. 129-142). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage


Ph.D., North Dakota State University, 2007, B.S., Wayne State College, 2002


Family Management, New Communication Technologies, Privacy Management, Social Media Use


National Communication Association, Life Member, International Communication Association, Central States Communication Association, Eastern States Communication Association