(book)Olson, DeFrain, & Skogrand. (2014). (Eight Edition)…

Title: Family Communication: A Comprehensive Analysis


The book “Family Communication” written by Olson, DeFrain, and Skogrand is a comprehensive examination of the intricacies of communication within families. Now in its eighth edition, this book serves as a valuable resource for researchers, educators, and practitioners in the field of family studies. The authors delve into various aspects of family communication, including theoretical frameworks, communication patterns, conflict resolution strategies, and the impact of communication on family relationships.

Summary of Content:

Chapter 1: Introduction to Family Communication

The first chapter provides an introduction to the field of family communication and lays the foundation for the subsequent chapters. It explores the unique characteristics of family communication, such as its complexity, contextuality, and multidimensional nature. The authors discuss the importance of studying family communication and highlight its role in maintaining healthy relationships within families.

Chapter 2: Systems Theory and Family Communication

Chapter 2 delves into the application of systems theory to the study of family communication. The authors discuss key concepts associated with systems theory and explain how they can be applied to understand the complexities of family dynamics. They highlight the interdependence and interconnectedness of family members and emphasize the role of communication in maintaining family systems.

Chapter 3: Family Communication Patterns

This chapter focuses on various communication patterns that exist within families. The authors introduce the concept of family communication patterns and discuss different typologies, including consensual, pluralistic, protective, and laissez-faire patterns. They explore how these communication patterns influence family dynamics, decision-making processes, and conflict resolution strategies.

Chapter 4: Conflict and Communication in the Family

Chapter 4 delves into the intricate relationship between conflict and communication within families. The authors explore different types of family conflicts, ranging from generational clashes to sibling rivalries. They analyze communication strategies that facilitate conflict resolution and highlight the importance of effective communication in maintaining family harmony.

Chapter 5: Power and Decision Making in the Family

This chapter examines power dynamics and the decision-making processes within families. The authors discuss different power structures, including egalitarian, hierarchical, and mixed power structures, and their impact on family communication. They explore how power imbalances can lead to communication challenges and suggest strategies to promote equitable decision-making within families.

Chapter 6: Intimacy and Emotional Communication

Chapter 6 delves into the intricacies of intimacy and emotional communication within families. The authors explore the role of emotional expressions, empathy, and authenticity in fostering intimate relationships within the family. They discuss the challenges associated with emotional communication and provide insights into enhancing emotional closeness within family units.

Chapter 7: Communication and Diversity in the Family

This chapter focuses on the intersection of communication and diversity within families. The authors examine how factors such as culture, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation influence family communication dynamics. They highlight the need for cultural competence and respect for diversity in facilitating effective communication within diverse family units.

Chapter 8: Communication Technologies and Family Life

Chapter 8 explores the impact of communication technologies on family dynamics. The authors discuss the use of various technologies, such as smartphones, social media, and video conferencing, and their influence on family communication patterns and relationships. They highlight both the benefits and challenges associated with the use of communication technologies within families.


The book “Family Communication” provides a comprehensive analysis of the complexities of communication within families. It offers valuable insights into theoretical frameworks, communication patterns, conflict resolution strategies, power dynamics, emotional communication, diversity, and the impact of communication technologies on family life. This book serves as an invaluable resource for researchers, educators, and practitioners who aim to enhance their understanding of family communication and its role in maintaining healthy family relationships.