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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Qingwen Dong

First Committee Member

Teresa Bergman

Second Committee Member

Paul Turpin


In recent years there has been a marked shift from face-to-face communication to computer-mediated communication. This shift has also led to changes in the way families communicate as, more often than ever, social media sites are becoming a primary means of communication for a number of groups. The relationship between family communication patterns and offline interaction has long been studied. However, there is a marked scarcity in research examining the relationship between family communication patterns and online interaction. Data collected from a group-administered survey of 246 undergraduate students was used to examine eleven hypotheses related to family communication patterns, self-esteem, social media use, and online/offline family interaction. Family communication patterns were labeled as either high conversation-orientation or high conformity-orientation. Existing research suggests that these communication patterns are inversely related and a correlation analysis in this study supports this notion. The results indicate that there is a positive correlation between high conversation-orientation families and both online and offline family interaction as well as measures of self-esteem. Additionally, the results indicate that there is a negative correlation between high conformity-orientation families and offline family interaction. No significant correlations were found between high conformity-orientation families and either self-esteem or online family interaction. Future research should consider motivations behind actions as this may significantly impact how respondents view and evaluate their interaction patterns.





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