COM 597 Research in Family Communication

Spring, 2012












HFC 8 (Cassie)

1. On page 178, Vangelisti states that "intact families generally experience less conflict and stress than families where the parents are divorced, separated or widowed." Do you agree with this statement, if not then why?

2. Vangelisti also mentions "intact families usually have more economic and social resources available to them (p. 178)." Do you find these are essentials for a family to be productive?

3. The conformity orientation and conversation orientation are two dimensions of family communication. Which one is more important to families and how much of an asset are these dimensions to families.

HFC 10 (Skylar)

HFC 11 (Jillian)

1. Based on the research and our knowledge of the history of marriage and American families, how can we refute the following public attitude? “Allowing gays and lesbian couples to legally marry would undermine the traditional American family.”

2. Let’s try something. Pretend you are gay or lesbian. Who would you “come out” to first? Second? Do your responses fit with the research findings on disclosure of sexual orientation? (p. 234- p.235) Did your perceptions of your family members’ reactions shape your responses?

3. Were you surprised by any of the research or Census findings concerning gay and lesbian couples? (p.236- 237)

4. What are the findings on the division of child care and housework among gay and lesbian parenting couples?

5. How did Peplau and Beals lay the argument “homosexuals are unfit parents” to rest? (p.242- 244)

AF Chapter 9 (Cassie)

1. On page 159, the figure demonstrates that after the economic crisis in 1946 that more black males had a higher marriage rate than white males. Does the employment rate for black males increasing have an affect on this statistic?If so, how?

2. As mentioned on page 160, it was stated the marriage rates were higher before men having to leave for the service.This was done for benefits of being married to someone in the service and also to get the intimacy needed in a relationship before the male is shipped off. In your opinion is this right? Are people marrying too young and soon just to receive benefits?

3. Along with the question above, is this still going on in today's society? Does this have a significance with the divorce rate we face today?

AF 14 Diversity within Latino Families

1. “Our goal in this review was to call into question assumptions, beliefs, and false generalizations about the way “Latino families are” (p.239). Did the researchers Zinn and Wells meet this goal for you? What are some of your generalizations or assumptions that they proved false? By believing these generalizations, did it have any effects on the way you interacted with Latinos?

2. How do you feel that the current economic situation will affect these Latino groups because of low educational attainment, limited work skills and the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US?

3. In this article, Zinn and Wells write about Cubans and Mexicans who place high value on marriage and family (p.231). In what ways does the current American culture and economic structure work against these values? Can they make these values work for their families or it is a lost cause?

AF 26 Moms and Jobs (Dee)

  1.  A huge jump in mothers of children under age 5 was seen in the labor force from 1970 (30%) to 1991 (65%).  Since these years include the birth years of most of the students in this class, you are able to speak to this issue from first-hand knowledge:

    a. Will the females in this class continue in the labor force or ‘opt-out’ once you have children?  Why or why not?  See for more of her thoughts on this subject.

    b. Do you, the females in class, believe you have or will have the support of the father of your child on the decision of ‘opting-out’?

    c. Should the earnings of the male enter into the decision of whether the female ‘opts-out’? (see paragraph at the bottom of page 385)

    d. What short term or long term effects will a mom’s employment outside the home have on the child? What are your thoughts regarding short term or long term effects on dad’s employment outside the home? (Include in your thinking Military Families)

  2. Coontz ( has said “the biggest problem facing most families in the United States at the outset of the new century is not that our families have changed too much but that our institutions have changed too little”.  What social support systems would you suggest need to be in place in the U.S. to aid parents employed outside the home?

  3. More and more retired women who entered the labor force during the 70s, 80s, and 90s, (page 382) are currently “babysitting” their grandchildren for some or all of the day.  I suggest that we are seeing a generation of well-educated, retired, female wage earners who have become more supportive and have more empathy regarding the care of their grandchildren than their mothers of the 50s and 60s.  Your thoughts?