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COMM 3700: Empirical Research Methods: Sources

Communication Studies

Other Social Sciences

Sample Study

Dorrance Hall, E., & McNallie, J. (2016). The mediating role of sibling maintenance behavior expectations and perceptions in the relationship between family communication patterns and relationship satisfactionJournal of Family Communication, 16(4), 386–402.

Abstract: Sibling relationships are influenced both by the behaviors performed within the relationship (e.g., relational work) and by the family system as a whole. This study extends family communication patterns theory (FCP) by examining whether communicative relationship maintenance plays a role in the relationship between FCP and siblingrelationship satisfaction. Data from 327 adult siblings from across the United States tested using Hayes (2013) PROCESS revealed that conversation and conformity orientation had positive indirect effects on sibling relationship satisfaction through both (a) relational maintenance expectations and (b) perceptions of sibling actual maintenance behavior in nearly all models (i.e., including positivity, openness, assurances, networks, and tasks maintenance behaviors). The results suggest that the parent-child relationship remains important long after children become adults as it continues to influence interpersonal relationships with others. Future directions for communication scholars are discussed along with theoretical implications for research on family communication patterns and the maintenance strategy framework.

Pace, K., Silk, K., Nazione, S., Fournier, L., & Collins-Eaglin, J. (2018). Promoting mental health help-seeking behavior among first-year college studentsHealth Communication, 33(2), 102–110.

Awareness and utilization of mental health services on college campuses is a salient issue, particularly for first-year students as they transition into college life. The current study uses focus groups and surveys to test help-seekingmessages for first-year students. In this formative research, Phase 1 focus-group participants (N = 47) discussed four message concepts related to awareness of symptoms of mental health problems and services available to students. Phase 2 participants (N = 292) viewed one of three message concepts and then completed items that measured their perceptions of the message. Focus-group results helped prioritize likely effectiveness of messages based on responses to message features and provided an understanding of mental health help-seeking perceptions among college students. The quantitative results indicate the messages have potential for increasing awareness of mental health issues, as well as promoting availability of campus resources. Implications for tailoring campaign messages to first-year students are discussed. 

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