Communication in Intact Families

Authored by: Ascan F. Koerner , Mary Anne Fitzpatrick

The Routledge Handbook of Family Communication

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  November  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415881982
eBook ISBN: 9780203848166
Adobe ISBN: 9781136946370


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Writing about communication in intact families is an interesting challenge because intact ostensibly describes the structure of a family, but it also carries connotations of normalcy and normative functioning that rarely are articulated. Consequently, we start this chapter by discussing what we, and others, mean by saying a family is intact. Then we describe types of family functioning that are most closely associated with structural intactness and how structural intactness is related causally to family functioning. Finally, we will discuss how structural intactness might affect families’ habitual ways of communicating in their mundane, day-to-day interactions, that is, their family communication patterns. We conclude the chapter with a look at the future of research on intact families.

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