This course is required of SCM majors and is the cornerstone of the department’s teaching and research focuses. Family communication is an extension of the study of interpersonal communication and focuses on how communication works in families and how to improve family life through communication. It approaches the study of family communication from a variety of viewpoints and examines storytelling, conflict management, violence, stresses, and life cycle stages and the role of communication in each. The course is basically lecture-oriented but encourages students to bring and discuss examples from their own experiences. Much attention is paid to dysfunctional family communication and on the high incidence of divorce, with communication behaviors offered to offset dysfunctional behaviors.
There are objective tests and a term paper in the course.