Instructor: Dr. Marcia D. Dixson

Office hours: TR 2:00 - 4:00

and happily by appt.

Office: NF 230B

Phone: 481-6558 Email:

COM 597 The Dark Side of

Relational Communication

Fall, 2013



















Back to Syllabus
  Link to pdf of syllabus

Questions to Guide your Reading of Chapter 1 Conceptualizing the "Dark Side" of Family Communication

1. What does this statement mean: "families are constructed and maintained via their communicative practices (Vangelisti, 2004)" (p. 8).

2. What do you think of the definition on page 11 of dark family communication - anything left out? what issues does this create for identifying dark communication?

3. Explain the notion that "not all dark communication . . . produces dark outcomes and neither does all brigh family communication result in bright outcomes" (p. 11). Think of an example of one of these processes.

4. What do the authors mean by "positivity-negativity dialectic" (p. 11)?

5. Be prepared to explain the fundamental attribution error.

6. Why might family conformity negatively impact a family's adaptability and flexibility during adversity?

7. What is the difference between synchronic and diachronic time? Could a message have a dark outcome synchronically and a bright outcome diachronically?

8. Family communication is both process and product - be prepared to offer an example of this.