Communication Studies Faculty Research and Publications

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Functional forms of competence: Interviewing
    Huffcutt, Allen I.; Culbertson, Satoris S.; Riforgiate, Sarah E.; satoris; sriforgi
  • ItemOpen Access
    Good Working Mothers as Jugglers: A Critical Look at Two Work-Family Balance Films
    (2016-01-22) Kirby, Erika L.; Riforgiate, Sarah E.; Anderson, Isolde K.; Lahman, Mary P.; Lietzenmayer, Alison M.; sriforgi
  • ItemOpen Access
    The other voice in the room: restorative justice facilitators’ constructions of justice
    (2014-09-19) Paul, Gregory D.; Dunlop, Julia A.; gregpaul
    Restorative justice represents an approach to managing conflict initiated by a wrongdoing that focuses on restoring the participants materially, psychologically, and relationally. Restorative interventions usually involve facilitators who act as “experts” in helping the parties to manage their conflict restoratively. They also help participants to understand how restorative justice differs from traditional justice and what restorative justice looks like. However, we lack an understanding of how facilitators conceptualize justice in the first place. Drawing on interviews with facilitators, this study identifies facilitators’ justice constructions during victim-offender conferences. Together, these constructions constitute a multi-dimensional, multi-layered model of justice in victim-offender conferences.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Affectionate communication received from spouses predicts stress hormone levels in healthy adults
    (2008-12-03) Floyd, Kory; Riforgiate, Sarah E.; sriforgi
    Recent research on the communication of affection has illuminated its implications for mental and physical health. In particular, affectionate communication has been shown to covary with healthy hormonal variation and accelerated recovery from stress. The present study focuses on the association between marital affection and hormonal markers of stress regulation, including cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S), and their ratio. Twenty healthy adults and their spouses provided independent reports of their propensity for verbal, nonverbal, and support-based expressions of affection prior to providing saliva samples that were assayed for cortisol and DHEA-S. As hypothesized, spouses’ reports of verbal, nonverbal, and supportive affection significantly predicted participants’ waking cortisol levels, cortisol change, and cortisol:DHEA-S ratio. Participants’ own reports of affection were predictive of cortisol:DHEA-S ratio for verbal affection behaviors only, and were not predictive of participants’ waking cortisol, cortisol change, or DHEA-S. In addition, spouses’ reports of verbal, nonverbal, and supportive affection predicted participants’ evening cortisol levels. Results illustrate that affectionate communication from one’s spouse is related to hormonal stress regulation and suggest the possibility that interventions designed to increase affectionate behavior in romantic relationships may have stress-ameliorating physiological effects.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Policy Communication Index: a theoretically-based measure of organizational policy communication practices
    (2013-07-20) Canary, Heather E.; Riforgiate, Sarah E.; Montoya, Yvonne J.; sriforgi
    Despite recent scholarly contributions regarding policy communication, much remains to be known about policy communication processes. This article reports two studies that resulted in a survey instrument that measures policy communication in organizations. Study One included 197 full-time employees across occupations and industries. Exploratory factor analysis resulted in five factors of the Policy Communication Index: Meeting Discussions, Human Resources Communication, Coworker Interactions, Supervisor/Coworker Written Instructions, and Personal Expressions. Study Two included 245 full-time employees across job functions and industries. Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed a five-factor Policy Communication Index. Results are interpreted with structurating activity theory and implications are posed for future organizational communication research and practice.
  • ItemOpen Access
    One more time with feeling: a rejoinder to Clair’s and Wood’s responses
    (2011-01-13) Alberts, Jess K.; Riforgiate, Sarah E.; Tracy, Sarah; Trethewey, Angela; sriforgi
    In this rejoinder, we respond to the following claims regarding our integrated theory of domestic labor found in the commentaries by Julia T. Wood and Robin Patric Clair (2011, this issue): that we are establishing a ruler for the division of domestic; that our theory is biased toward the over-performer's rule or standard; that disagreements over domestic labor are primarily narrative constructions; and that our theory suggests a less than sanguine view of the potential for change in how men and women are socialized regarding the performance of domestic labor. In so doing, we argue that what Julia T. Wood describes as a “ruler” is not ours to create but rather is specific to each dyad and typically established by the partner with the lowest threshold level, be it a woman or a man. We also maintain that while a narrative approach provides a way to understand couples' interpretations of their experience, we believe a distinct value of our integrative theory is in helping to explain behavior and offer redress where such is needed. Finally, we argue that although our perspective regarding change may seem less than sanguine, that simply waiting for change to occur is of little benefit to those individuals and marriages/relationships suffering from lack of change in the here and now.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Work as a source of positive emotional experiences and the discourses informing positive assessment
    (2011-01-19) Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela; Riforgiate, Sarah E.; Fletcher, Courtney; sriforgi
    This study updates and extends current understandings of the organizational experiences likely to evoke positive emotions by examining 835 U.S. employees’ responses of their best workplace experiences. Responses included 17 positive experiences (recognition, relationships, reward, autonomy, appreciation, success, boss/mentorship, climate, opportunity, teamwork, resources, altruistic work, voice, social support, flexibility, challenge, triumph, and commitment) that typified five social discourses (power-empowerment, individualism-uniqueness, success-accomplishment, belonging-affiliation, and safety-security). Employee responses underscore the idea that the experiences at work evoking positive emotions are predominantly social (positive affective responses to others) and rooted in social, historical discourses or systems of meaning.
  • ItemOpen Access
    "Operation sunshine": the rhetoric of a cold war technological spectacle
    (2014-01-17) Griffin, Charles J. G.; charlieg
    This essay examines the role of the USS Nautilus (SSN 571), the world’s first atomic powered submarine, as an agency for advancing the Cold War objectives of the Eisenhower White House in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s successful launches of Sputniks 1 and 2 and the early failures of the U.S. Vanguard program in late 1957 and early 1958. Specifically, it examines the campaign to exploit Nautilus for domestic propaganda purposes, which culminated in “Operation Sunshine,” the first submerged transit from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans via the North Pole. The essay argues that architects of the technological spectacle faced the necessity of reconciling the material and symbolic aspects of the mission, and identifies three areas where this may have been necessary. In addition to illuminating the role of the Eisenhower White House in a significant, but largely forgotten episode in the Cold War, the essay illustrates the interplay of material and symbolic elements in Operation Sunshine and identifies some constraints that may be inherent in such technological spectacles.