Research Colloquium | School of Communication Studies | Kent State University

Research Colloquium

The School of Communication Studies Research Colloquium Series provides an opportunity for faculty members and students to foster intellectual and collaborative discussions and to stay informed about current research efforts.

Direct questions regarding this colloquium to COMM Associate Professor Jeffrey T. Child,

"Difficult Communication and Communicating Difficulty: A Multi-Paradigmatic Approach to Studying Family Relationships"

3 to 4 p.m. 
Monday, Feb. 26, 2018
Rm. 241, Taylor Hall
Free and open to the public

Parent child relationships are some of the closest relationships people will have in their lifetime. Indeed, the belief that family relationships are forever pervades the cultural imaginary despite estimates suggesting family estrangement could be as common as divorce. In this research presentation, Dr. Kristina Scharp begins by discussing the process of family distancing before Dr. Timothy Curran presents his research on intergenerational patterns of psychological distress in families, and the relationship between depressive symptoms and family conflict. They end their presentation by suggesting avenues for future research that capitalize on the strengths of multiple methods and have promising implications for theory and practice. Together, they discuss how different paradigmatic approaches can help strengthen research and make for more robust contributions.

Timothy Curran (Ph.D., University of Georgia) is an assistant professor of Communication Studies at Utah State University and the Associate Director of the Family Communication and Relationships Lab. His areas of specialization include intergenerational transmissions of psychological health factors in families, relational schema, depression and family conflict, and social adjustment. Tim received the Dean’s award for dissertation research at the University of Georgia in 2017. He has published in outlets such as Personality and Individual Differences, Journal of Family Communication, and Communication Studies. 

Kristina M. Scharp (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is an assistant professor of Communication Studies at Utah State University and is a Director of the Family Communication and Relationships Lab. She researches difficult family transitions and the processes by which family members cope with their distress. She has published in outlets such as Communication Research, Human Communication Research, and the Journal of Family Communication. Her research on parent-child estrangement in particular has garnered international attention from news outlets such as The New York Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Die Welt am Sonntag.