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Family Communication in the Age of Digital and Social Media


Edited By Carol J. Bruess

Family Communication in the Age of Digital and Social Media is an innovative collection of contemporary data-driven research and theorizing about how digital and social media are affecting and changing nearly every aspect of family interaction over the lifespan. The research and thinking featured in the book reflects the intense growth of interest in families in the digital age. Chapters explore communication among couples, families, parents, adolescents, and emerging adults as their realities are created, impacted, changed, structured, improved, influenced and/or inhibited by cell phones, smartphones, personal desktop and laptop computers, MP3 players, e-tablets, e-readers, email, Facebook, photo sharing, Skype, Twitter, SnapChat, blogs, Instagram, and other emerging technologies. Each chapter significantly advances thinking about how digital media have become deeply embedded in the lives of families and couples, as well as how they are affecting the very ways we as twenty-first-century communicators see ourselves and, by extension, conceive of and behave in our most intimate and longest-lasting relationships.
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Walid A. Afifi (BA, 1990, University of Iowa & PhD, 1996, University of Arizona) is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. He is an author of over 60 articles, chapters, and books, and has served as chair of the Interpersonal Division for both the National Communication Association and the International Communication Association. His program of research revolves around uncertainty and information-management decisions and has led to the development and refinement of the Theory of Motivated Information Management. He is committed to respecting and involving the communities from which we all learn. His program of life revolves around, and the (usually) calming influence on his personal experiences of uncertainty are, his wife, their two children, and three dogs (Charles Jackson, Mashi & Maddi). He can be reached at

Bethany L. Blair, PhD, is Assistant Professor in Family and Child Sciences at Florida State University. She received her doctoral degree in Human Development and Family Studies from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she was granted a Fulbright award to study Finnish adolescents’ use of social technology with friends and family. Her program of research examines social and emotional precursors to the development of healthy peer relationships, the ways in which children’s social technology use reflects their social and emotional ← 491 | 492 → development, and parental influences on children’s peer relationships and social technology use. She can be reached at

Markie Louise Christianson...

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