Communicating Fatherhood

New Directions in Theory, Research, and Education

by Vincent R. Waldron (Volume editor) Thomas Socha (Volume editor)
©2023 Textbook XXX, 390 Pages
Series: Lifespan Communication, Volume 17


Communicating Fatherhood is the first text to focus squarely on communication by and about fathers. This highly readable collection features an engaging mix of research chapters, personal reflections, and rich qualitative explorations of fatherhood as it is depicted in media, cultural traditions, father support programs, and the often-poignant reports of daughters, sons, spouses, and other family members. The amazing diversity of fatherhood is on display, with chapters exploring the experiences of Native American, African American, and Latino dads and their families. The reader will also hear from stay-at-home dads, nonresidential fathers, dads who are sperm donors, adoptive dads, and fathers who have been challenged by addiction, disability, and toxic versions of masculinity.
Although grounded in communication research and theory, Communicating Fatherhood strikes personal and emotional chords that will resonate with student readers and researchers alike. Authors share personal experiences of fatherhood – some heartwarming, and others painful – all of which emphasize the powerful and lifelong influence of "father-speak". The text generates deep insights for readers hoping to be fathers, family members seeking to understand fathers, and researchers studying the role communication has in shaping the many and varied roles played by fathers in families. Committed to tracing the development of fatherhood across the lifespan, Communicating Fatherhood is the perfect text for undergraduate and graduate courses in family communication, personal relationships, lifespan communication, and gender studies.
"In this pioneering book Communicating Fatherhood, the editors have assembled an impressive range of scholarly and practitioner voices. The focus on communication and fathers is unparalleled in the current market and makes an outstanding companion to books focusing on maternal communication. Chapters cover essential topics, such as how father ideals have evolved over time, father-offspring bonds, and influences of traditional and emerging media on fatherhood. The book provides an eclectic and multivocal view of fatherhood, examining the experiences of dads who are Black, Latino, Native American, adoptive, working and stay-at-home, nonresidential, gay, recent immigrants, and dads with disabilities."
—Michelle Miller-Day, Professor, Chapman University
Author: Constructing Motherhood and Fatherhood Across the Lifespan
"Editors Vince Waldron and Tom Socha bring together authors who share research and personal experiences focused on the doing of fatherhood via communication and media, how fathers challenge and change roles and relationships as the lifespan unfolds. Readers will find this book very useful in in their own families and communities."
—Dawn O. Braithwaite, Willa Cather Professor of Communication Studies (Emerita), University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Author: "Communication Matters" blog, Psychology Today
"Waldron and Socha have compiled an impressive collection of essays exploring fatherhood from scientific, historical, educational, and experiential perspectives. Communicating Fatherhood is a must read for anyone seeking to more fully understand the changing landscape of American families."
—Douglas L. Kelley, Professor of Communication (Emeritus), Arizona State University

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • List of Illustrations and Tables
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Communicating Fatherhood—Brief Bios
  • Dads (Re)discovered: Researching, Educating, and Enacting Fatherhood
  • Section 1 Constructing Fathers’ Identities
  • Theory and Research
  • In Search of Good Father-Speak: Conceptualization and Education
  • “Be Seen and Not Heard”: Understanding Fathers’ Role in Pregnancy, Labor, and Delivery
  • Communication and Identity among Nonresidential Fathers with Children in Kinship Care
  • Education and Experiential Accounts
  • Two Black Fatherhood Scholars Reflect on the (Pervasive) Myth of the Missing Black Father
  • Fatherhood Is Sacred/Motherhood Is Sacred: An Education and Support Program Designed for Native American Families
  • A “Father Power” Course: Co-constructing Fatherhood
  • Exploring Identities and Support Needs of Stay-at-Home Fathers
  • Negotiating Toxic Masculinity in Father-Son Communication: Construction of Generational Masculinities in an Era of Masculinity-In-Crisis
  • Section 2 Navigating Father-Offspring Relationships
  • Theory and Research
  • Forgetting, Failure, and Fantasy: Stories of Gay Adoptive Parenting
  • Turning Points in Father-Offspring Relationships: Life Passages, Momentous Conversations, and Revelations of Character
  • “Es como un Puente, va y Viene con Información.” [They are Like a Bridge; They Come and go with Information]: A Qualitative Exploration of Mexican-Origin Fathers’ Relational Perceptions of Adolescent Language Brokers
  • Focusing on Immediacy and Satisfaction in Father-Daughter Young Adult Relationships
  • Education and Experiential Accounts
  • A Missing P(i)eace: Forgiving Parents Who Die from Alcohol Addiction
  • Stepping in and Stepping Beyond: Negotiating Fatherhood in Discourse Dependent Families
  • “Una Persona que Cumple con su Palabra” (a Person of his Word): Latino Fathers and Offspring Define Their Relationships
  • Disrupting Traditional Ideas of Fatherhood: A Gay Dad’s Connection with His Biological Kids
  • Section 3 Dads Depicted: Media, Work, and Educational Messages about Fatherhood
  • Theory and Research
  • The Rise and Fall of Portrayed Paternal Social Support over Six Decades of Television Sitcoms: Implications for Understanding Paternal Involvement
  • Social Support, Fathers, and Work: At Home and Outside of the Home
  • Dear Ian Joseph: Fathers’ Memorable Messages about Work/Family Tension
  • Education and Experiential Accounts
  • Blindness, Black Culture, and Fatherhood: An Authentic Back Story
  • “My job is to help you get ready for your own sh*t show”: Incorporating Narratives of Real Fathers in Classroom Conversations
  • Blogging though Fatherhood: Stay-at-home Dads’ Online Communication and Community
  • Dad Bros: Performing Fatherhood in a Social Media Group
  • Index


List of Illustrations and Tables

  1. Table 2.1:Description of 10 Father Training and Education Programs (1983–2019)
  2. Table 7.1:Father Power Curriculum by Week
  3. Table 11.1:Turning Point Category Frequency, Percentage, and Valence
  4. Table 13.1:Daughters’ Maintenance Behaviors by Attachment Styles
  5. Figure 14.1:List of Memories of My Father
  6. Figure 14.2:Mosaic Rendering of Memories
  7. Table 18.1:Cutrona and Suhr’s (1992) Social Support Behavior Coding Scheme
  8. Table 18.2:Television Series Included in Sample
  9. Table 18.3:Social Support Category Frequencies
  10. Table 18.4:Social Support Average Per-Episode Frequency Scores
  11. Table 18.5:Chi-square Analyses for Support Recipients
  12. Table 20.1:Perceptions of Work/Family Tension in Fathers’ Memorable Messages
  13. Table 20.2:Relational Framing of Work/Family Tension Memorable Messages
  14. Table 20.3:Reasons for Sharing Work/Family Tension Memorable Messages



Our intention in creating Communicating Fatherhood was to stimulate new and accessible communication scholarship on fathering. For that reason we issued a broad call for participation, one we hoped would stimulate submissions from a diverse group of scholars. One goal was to attract established scholars with a solid track record of published work on fatherhood. We certainly met that goal. But we hoped even more for submissions from new voices in the field, early career or less-published scholars who might bring fresh and diverse experiences to the volume. We are particularly grateful to those authors, the ones who had the courage to submit their work and the patience to endure several rounds of mentoring and editing. Whether authored by senior scholars or early career researchers, the chapters have one very noticeable commonality. Indeed, each contribution focuses squarely on communication, what we have come to call father-speak, the symbolic practices and processes by which fatherhood is enacted and depicted.

Student readers and unfamiliar researchers will find the work reported here more accessible than the average scholarly tome. We asked authors to personalize the chapters by reflecting on their own fathering relationships and to minimize the reporting of methodological details. Each author team was encouraged to address the practical importance of their work for fathers, their families, and professionals who support them. In addition to traditional research contributions, we welcomed shorter, experiential, and pedagogical pieces. Designed to be accessible and relatable, these contributions focus on how fathers talk and behave. They include rich qualitative reports of father talk, the authors’ personal accounts of life as or with fathers, and close observations of texts or learning activities that help fathers explore roles and develop communication skills.

We are pleased by the diversity of the chapters. In this volume readers will find authors using the research tools of both the sciences and the humanities, reporting data that are qualitative and/or quantitative, and drawing conclusions that are descriptive, inferential, and/or critical in nature. That diversity extends to the contexts of study. We succeeded in attracting chapters grounded in a variety of fathering experiences, including those of Black, Latino, Native American, Gay, immigrant, step-, and nonresidential fathers. Of course, no one volume could capture fully the many varieties of fatherhood. Some fathering types (stay at home dads) are well represented in these pages, whereas others, such as father figures, receive mention but no systematic study. However, the wide range of contributions on display here demonstrates the rich and untapped potential of research on the communication of fatherhood.

The text begins with an introductory chapter in which we organize the relatively brief history of fathering research in the communication discipline. We also identify some historical changes in fathering roles, with a particular emphasis on recent trends, such as the rising numbers of stay-at-home dads and the impact of fathers who are social media influencers. Drawing on a generative view of fathering, we identify research questions that could guide new studies on the communicative strengths of fathers of various types and cultural backgrounds. We call for more scholarship on the history of fatherhood and for additional research on how fathers and their relationships change as the lifespan unfolds.

The remainder of the text is organized into three sections. In the first, Constructing Fathers’ Identities, chapters explore how dads create and sustain their roles within a changing landscape of family, gender, and cultural expectations. Our authors consider such topics as present and past notions of the ideal dad, identities of expecting dads, the toxic masculinity that pervades some notions of fatherhood, communicative relationships between nonresidential fathers and their families, and the ways in which some Black and Native American Dads enact fatherhood.

Navigating Father-Offspring Relationships is the title of the second section. The contributions in this section examine dads’ relationships with other family members, including daughters, adoptive children, English-speaking children who play language-brokering roles in immigrant families, and the biological children of fathers who are sperm donors. Relational practices are the focus of this section, including the role of forgiveness in relationships with deceased fathers and revelations of the moral character of fathers. The ways in which father-offspring relationships are influenced by cultural expectations and the passing of time are also considered.

The third and final section is Dads Depicted: Media, Work, and Educational Messages about Fatherhood. Here the focus is on the messaging that shapes individual and cultural expectations of fatherhood, including stories and moral messages. We see that television and social media groups can be important sources of learning for fathers, some of whom assume this important family position having had few role models, been socialized to restrictive notions of masculinity, or experienced limited social support for assuming “alternative” fathering roles. Chapters consider depictions of fathers on television, in social media, and via educational programming developed for or by dads.

In short, Communicating Fatherhood opens a frank, much-needed, and long overdue dialog within the field of communication. One grounded in both the research and personal experiences of our contributors. One that interrogates, illuminates, and celebrates fatherhood and father-speak as significant forces in human development across the lifespan.



The authors thank Brianna Avalos for her assistance in copyediting chapters included in this volume.


Communicating Fatherhood—Author Biographies

  • Lopamudra T. Banerjee is an international master’s student in the department of communication at North Carolina State University. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in India with six years of working experience. Her research focuses on mental health communication, patient-centered communication, and cancer communication. Her father Sri Arun Kumar Tripathi (deceased) was a doctor and a big inspiration for her.
  • C. Wesley Buerkle is Professor of Communication Studies at East Tennessee State University. He teaches courses on rhetoric, media, and gender. Wesley’s research largely centers on how media constructs white masculinity. His father, Jerry, passed away some 15 years ago but not before coming to respect his younger son for imagining masculinity and happiness differently from himself. Wesley has two young children, Eleanor and Grant—his light and his hope.
  • Dr. Catalina Cayetano is Teaching Professor of Communication at Arizona State University, where she teaches intercultural and family communication courses. Her research focuses on immigrant families’ intercultural communication and the interdependence that leads to building relational cultures within families during language and technology brokering moments. Her father, Ramon Cayetano, and her husband, Pedro Lopez, who are immigrants and who find themselves building culture with the help of their English-speaking children, are her inspirational father figures.
  • Benjamin Cline is Associate Professor of Communication at Western New Mexico University. His research tends to focus on rhetorical analysis and media ecology, looking at how communication environments tend to cultivate particular epistemologies and ontologies while suppressing others. His love of Communication stems from his own father, Walt Cline, a minister in Western Nebraska who always had a love for words. Dr. Cline is the father of one child, Jubilee.
  • Chip Conley is a hospitality entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, and founder of a pioneering educational academy. He founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality (JdV), transforming an inner-city motel into the second largest boutique brand in America. Chip served as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality. He is founder of the Modern Elder Academy (MEA), where a new roadmap for midlife is taught. In partnership with their two mothers, Chip is the father of two sons.
  • Samantha Cosgrove is an Assistant Professor of Technical Communication at the University of North Texas. Her research applies theories of user experience to risk and disaster scenarios to improve communication strategies between emergency agencies and the communities they serve. She teaches courses in technical writing and usability. Her father Jerry Cosgrove (deceased) was her first role model and hero.
  • Elizabeth A. Craig (PhD, University of Oklahoma, 2008) is an Associate Professor of Communication and a faculty partner with The Center for Family and Community Engagement at North Carolina State University. Her teaching and research are in the areas of interpersonal and family communication where she examines mental health, family adversity, and the communication of resilience. The main father figure in her life was Robert Wright, a proud man and father of three.
  • Qiana R. Cryer-Coupet (PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work) is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Georgia State University. Her current research explores the roles of fathers in families, particularly among those engaged in kinship care or who have been impacted by family-traumas such as paternal incarceration, experiences of homelessness, and paternal substance use disorders. Her father is Melvin Cryer, a loving husband and amazing father of three.
  • Caleb Evers is a Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communications graduate student from Iowa State University, currently using his skills as an Internal Communications Manager for a multi-national technology consulting company. As a student his research focused primarily on public speaking pedagogy in modern and ancient times. In his life, the prominent father figure is his grandfather, Richard Evers, whose farming background helped establish his work-ethic. Caleb now resides in Dallas, Texas.
  • Danielle Halliwell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Indiana University East. Her teaching and research interests focus on family communication, relationship transitions, and the role that technology plays in interpersonal relationships. Her father and maternal grandfather (deceased) are her main father figures. Danielle is also grateful for her husband, who is a wonderful father to their two young daughters.
  • Brian Heisterkamp is a Professor of Communication Studies at California State University, San Bernardino where he teaches courses in interpersonal and family communication, conflict management, and research methods. His research takes a phenomenological view of topics including LGBTQ relationships and conflict mediation. A father figure in his life is Kenneth L. Heisterkamp. Brian is a co-parent to two teenage children, Joshua and Isabella, with his spouse Arturo.
  • Daniel Henke is the Writing Center Coordinator at Lake Forest College where they teach classes in college writing, narrative theory, and speech communication. Daniel’s research interests are writing center theory and practice, critical theory and its connection to narrative and communication pedagogies, and qualitative research methodologies. The main father figure in Daniel’s life is Mark Henke who worked multiple jobs his whole life to provide for his family. Daniel is a parent to Raegan Page Henke.
  • Amber Holland is a doctoral student at North Carolina State University where she teaches courses on interpersonal communication. Her research interests include relational resilience, family communication, identity, and qualitative research methods. Her father is William Thomas “Tom” Holland, who has loved, supported, and dedicated himself to his wife Laura and children Wesley and Amber.
  • Lauren J. Johnsen is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout whose teaching focuses on interpersonal, family, and health communication. Her research focuses on lived experiences at the convergence of interpersonal, family, and health communication, such as fathers navigating maternal health spaces and parenting during the pandemic. The main father figure in her life was Terry M. Johnsen (deceased).
  • Carrie Ann King Johnson is a doctoral candidate in Rhetoric and Professional Communication at Iowa State University. Her research focuses on how organizational communication and personal communication collide, especially in the area of often-overlooked social networks. Her father, Clair King, always listened to her big ideas that most people didn’t want to hear about. She is also eternally grateful to the father of her children, Richard Johnson, who is the first one to jump in with hugs and jokes when the kids are sad.
  • Alice Jones is Director of Career Development at Virginia Wesleyan University and adjunct instructor at Old Dominion University. She received her 2nd MA in Lifespan & Digital Communication and teaches public speaking, research methods, and communication theory. Communication interests include work and career, gender roles, hope and resilience. The main father figure in her life was Dock Harris (deceased). Alice is married to Gavin and they have four adult children, Nico, Elyle, Danyella and Nicole.
  • Ryan Jordan Martinez is a Texas Tech University graduate student pursuing a degree in Communication Studies. His research interests focus on topics within interpersonal relationships and computer-mediated online dating. The primary father figure in his life is Basilio (Jr) Martinez, his father, and his best friend.
  • Chelsea E. Moss is a doctoral student in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. Her research interests are at the intersection of entertainment media and family communication, including how families are portrayed in media and how real-world family members navigate their media consumption. Chelsea’s father, Greg Moss, beautifully models paternal social support and a life-long love for learning.
  • Kelly G. Odenweller is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Communication Studies program at Iowa State University. She teaches courses on professional, interpersonal/family, and gender communication. Her research focuses on how family members construct gender through communication about their intersecting family and work identities. She has published studies on father-son communication about masculinity and biased communication among stay-at-home and working mothers.
  • Bailey M. Oliver-Blackburn is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She holds a PhD in human communication, with a focus in restructured family communication. She is a published researcher, professor, and certified group facilitator in the fields of conflict transformation and family resilience. She was and still is blessed with two amazing father figures (John Oliver & Richard McDonald) whom have always supported her in her goals.
  • Emily Onwiler is a Social Work graduate student at Arizona State University where she is involved in family communication research. She has a focus on Hospice and palliative care and hopes to pursue social work in the future. The main father figure in her life was her grandfather Norman A. Rockford (deceased) who helped shape her into the person she is today.
  • Aurea K. Osgood is a Professor of Sociology at Winona State University. Here, she teaches courses in social research, demography, and family sociology, focusing primarily on poverty and fatherhood. Her research has addressed low-income, custodial, single fathers and their use of public assistance programs. Her father, Dick Osgood, is an outstanding example of an engaged, active, and present father and grandfather.
  • Asher Pimley graduated with a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from Arizona State University while working on fathering research. Their research interests lie in family and LGBTQ+ studies surrounding mental health awareness and interpersonal relationship communication. Asher has a close, positive relationship with their father who encourages them to always work hard and be a better person.
  • Kevin Ponce Plascencia is a Texas Tech University senior pursuing a dual degree in Interdisciplinary Human Sciences and Public Relations, with minors in Psychology, Women and Gender Studies, and Spanish. A gay Latino intersectional feminist, Kevin is dedicated to his family and communities.
  • Albert Pooley, an experienced marriage/family counselor, founded the Native American Fatherhood and Families Association (NAFFA), starting with the Fatherhood is Sacred curriculum in 2000. The program is grounded in Native spiritual teachings, a heritage Albert shares through his Navajo and Hopi roots. In partnership with 350 tribal communities, NAFFA has trained approximately 5,000 fathers and facilitators. Albert holds master’s degrees in both social work and public administration. Albert received important life lessons from his own father.
  • Narissra Maria Punyanunt-Carter is a Professor of Communication Studies and Assistant Dean of International Affairs for the College of Media and Communication at Texas Tech University, where she teaches courses on communication in interpersonal relationships. Her research focuses on such topics as family communication, social media, and romantic relationships. The main father figure in her life is Niponth Punyanunt. Narissra is the mother of two sons: Ezra and Zavin.
  • Rita L. Rahoi-Gilchrest is Dean of Faculty & Academic Operations at Minnesota State College Southeast/Adjunct Professor, Healthcare Leadership & Administration at Winona State University. She teaches organizational/applied and group communication, argumentation, and rhetoric. Although her research usually concerns organizational rhetoric and social marketing, she has also published on motherhood as depicted in “mommy and anti-mommy” blogs. Rita was much loved and influenced by her late father Ken Johnson and father-in-law Thornton “Chuck” Gilchrest; she values her husband Jim Gilchrest as an amazingly loving wonderful father, stepfather, and grandfather.
  • Jessica Rick is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Southern Indiana. Her teaching and research interests focus on work(ing)/life communication, parenthood, and workplace flexibility. Her father, Mike, was her main father figure growing up. Jessica loves watching her partner, Matt, be a wonderful father to their two young daughters.
  • Diana Rodriguez is a Communication graduate student at Arizona State University where she is involved in family and leadership research. Her research focuses on communicating inspiration and learning about how people can better communicate with one another in close interpersonal relationships. Her main father figure is her Tio (uncle)who raised her for the majority of her life.
  • Leslie Vidal Rodriguez graduated from Arizona State University where she was an undergraduate research assistant. She helped with data analysis and shared experiences with her own father, who taught her many of life’s most important lessons.
  • Richard Rodriguez has a PhD in Education with a specialty in special education, specifically with learning disabilities. He has taught at Arizona State and Western New Mexico University. He has worked at El Grito Head Start as a counselor since 2002, conducting Father Power meetings for that entire time. The need that he sees now is to instill in the fathers the importance of how powerful the family can be as a support system.
  • Thomas J. Socha (PhD, University of Iowa) is Professor of Communication and University Professor (Distinguished teaching) in the graduate program in Lifespan & Digital Communication, Department of Communication & Theatre Arts at Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA). He is author/editor/co-editor of 9 books (two more underway), 35 chapters/articles, and 75 conference papers about family communication, children’s communication, parental communication, family communication & culture, and positive communication. Dr. Socha is past president of the Southern States Communication Association, founding editor of Journal of Family Communication, and founding director of ODU’s MA in Lifespan & Digital Communication. Dr. Socha co-founded the Positive Communication Network. He is the founding general editor of the book series Lifespan Communication: Children, Families and Aging (Peter Lang).
  • Corey Staten, a graduate of Old Dominion University, is a teaching artist, storyteller, and cofounder with Laquita Marie Staten of Autumpan Edutainment. The mission of Atumpan Edutainment is to provide affordable and accessible opportunities for artists’ development of onstage and behind the scenes talents through arts education, professional performances, special projects, and community events. Corey uses his storytelling about to Africa to reach African-Americans in an engaging way.
  • James Stephens is the pen name for a communication studies scholar currently working in a faculty position at a state university. His research explores interpersonal and family communication studies.
  • Daniel S. Strasser (PhD, University of Denver) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Rowan University. His research envelops gender and family communication, masculinity studies, critical pedagogies, and communication theory specifically focusing on father-son relationships, classed identities, and the perceptions and performances of masculinities. The main father figure in his life is Steve Strasser, his biological father. He and his partner are voluntary child free and proud pup parents to Reia Lux, a rescue from Texas.
  • Alvin Thomas is Assistant Professor and Phyllis Northway Faculty Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He researches ethnic identity, father-son relationships, and mental health in men and boys. His scholarship focuses on risks and protections for Black children and youth, especially boys, and explores outcomes including violence, grades, and well-being. He is interested in influencing fatherhood policy to highlight the efficacy of father involvement for Black and underrepresented families. Dr. Thomas is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Morehouse College.
  • Stacy Tye-Williams is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Iowa State University. Her scholarship examines dark and bright side processes in organizational life, ranging from workplace bullying to the power of collective storytelling, to bring about positive change in groups and communities. Her father Randy Tye (deceased) was truly an example of fatherhood done well. Stacy has two young sons, Fletcher and Harrison, who are blessed to have her husband, Derek, as their dad.
  • Christina G. Yoshimura is a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Montana. Her works centers on interpersonal communication, with an emphasis on studying intersections of the family system and other societal systems. Dr. Yoshimura is also a licensed clinical mental health counselor, connecting communication and mental health through her research, teaching, and clinical practice. She was fathered by John Granato and parents remarkable twins, Collin and Elena, alongside Steve Yoshimura.
  • Vincent Waldron is Professor of Communication at Arizona State University where he teaches courses on communication in personal and work relationships. His research focuses on such topics as forgiveness, relational resilience, and the negotiation of relational morality. The main father figure in his life was George R. Waldron (deceased), a steady and hard-working dad, lifelong supporter, and a good man. Vince is father to two adult offspring, Emily and Lucas Waldron.
  • Erin K. Willer is a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Denver. Her pedagogy and research engage narrative and art to cultivate creativity, compassion, and community in the face of grief and loss. Erin’s work is inspired by her father Bill (who died when she 12), her stepdad Dave, and Mark who brilliantly fathers her two living children (Matilda and Fyodor) and four angel babies (Milo, O.B., B.W., and TeFiti).
  • Steven R. Wilson is Professor of Communication at the University of South Florida where he teaches courses on interpersonal and family communication. His research focuses on topics such as difficult conversations, military families, and resilience. The main father figure in his life was Robert T. Wilson (deceased). Steve is (step)father to six adult offspring (Brendan, Sheridan, Ashlee, Lisette, Annie, and Robyn).


XXX, 390
ISBN (Softcover)
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2023 (September)
Fatherhood fathering fathers communication family communication lifespan parenting father-child communication interpersonal communication personal relationships men masculinity Communicating Fatherhood: New Directions in Theory, Research, and Education Vincent R. Waldron Thomas J. Socha
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2023. XXX, 390 pp., 2 b/w ill., 12 tables.

Biographical notes

Vincent R. Waldron (Volume editor) Thomas Socha (Volume editor)

Vincent R. Waldron (PhD, Ohio State University) is Professor of Communication and Lincoln Professor of Relational Ethics at Arizona State University. Dr. Waldron is author or editor of eight scholarly books and a previous chair of the Interpersonal Communication Division of the National Communication Association. Thomas J. Socha (PhD, University of Iowa) is Professor of Communication and University Professor at Old Dominion University. He is author or editor of nine books (two more forthcoming), past president of the Southern States Communication Association, and founding editor of Journal of Family Communication.


Title: Communicating Fatherhood
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