Laura Stafford

Laura Stafford
Bowling Green State University | BGSU · Department of Communication

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70
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (70)
Article
Relationship maintenance processes include a wide range of activities and cognitions that romantic partners engage in to sustain or enhance their relationships. In this article, we review literature from the past two decades (2002–2021). We focus on key definitional and conceptual issues in the study of relational maintenance. Guided by a lens of i...
Article
We examined the association between mental health and relationship and wedding factors among engaged women planning their weddings before and during Covid-19. Survey data from 715 non-Covid-19 and 427 Covid-19 participants revealed that Covid-19 participants experienced depression in greater proportion than non-Covid-19 participants. Wedding satisf...
Article
The purpose of this study was to explore communal strength (i.e., partner-specific communal orientation) and partner-specific exchange orientation, as well as equity, as predictors of relational maintenance. A sample of 309 heterosexual couples completed self-reports. Given the dyadic interdependence, the actor–partner independence model was used....
Article
Cultural discourses surrounding weddings and wedding planning are commonly focused on the bride. Relational Dialectics Theory 2.0 is used to conduct a critical analysis of wedding planning discourses through a Critical Interpersonal and Family Communication (CIFC) lens. Contrapuntal analysis is used to analyze interview transcripts of women talking...
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This study uses the relational turbulence model to examine depressive symptoms in newly married women. It reports data from a pre-/posttest study in which 152 women completed an online survey during their engagement and 6 months after their wedding. Nearly 12% of the women reported reliable and clinically meaningful increases in depressive symptoms...
Chapter
Relationships are long-distance when opportunities for communication are restricted due to geographic constraints. Long-distance relationships are of interest to relational scholars given the implicit assumption that relationships without frequent face-to-face contact are not as “close” as those with such contact. They exist in opposition to norms...
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We conducted in-depth interviews with 28 newly married women to explore the experience of postnuptial depressive symptoms. Nearly half of the participants indicated that they felt let down or depressed following their wedding, and some participants reported clinical levels of depression. We found several stark contrasts between the bluest and the h...
Article
Using a relational model of religion and spirituality in marriage, the role of individual relationship with God, couple’s joint religious communication, and forgiveness were examined as predictors of marital satisfaction. Data from 342 heterosexual married couples were analyzed using an actor partner interdependence model and path analyses. Results...
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Mahoney and colleagues' theorizing about the potential role of sanctity as a central feature of religion/spirituality is invoked to examine the relationships among sanctity of marriage, (un)forgiveness, sacrifice, and both positive and negative marital satisfaction. The study examined the perspectives of both members of 342 marital dyads using an A...
Article
It has been argued that individuals who consider their marriages as sacred are likely to put greater effort into protecting those marriages. As relationship maintenance behaviors have been defined as efforts enacted to maintain features such as marital satisfaction, it is possible that relational maintenance behaviors serve as a link between marita...
Article
Despite the ubiquitous infiltration of information communication technologies (ICTs) into our lives, research on their roles in personal relationships is at a nascent stage. In this essay, we briefly review the emergence of research on ICTs and summarize current trends in the study of ICTs and personal relationships, including topics such as multic...
Article
With this special issue on religion and spirituality (R/S) and communication, our goal was to increase awareness of the role of R/S in communication phenomena and to stimulate scholarship in this domain. Given the number of individuals who claim some type of religious affiliation or spiritual belief system, it is somewhat surprising that as a field...
Article
The most frequently utilized measures of relational maintenance (i.e., the five-factor relational maintenance strategies measure, or RMSM, and the revised seven-factor RMSM) suffer from fundamental measurement flaws. Therefore, this article describes a series of studies designed to identify weaknesses in these measures and offer an improvement — th...
Article
Based on interdependence theory, this study explores how the features of geographic separation are associated with the nature of dating partners’ talk throughout courtship. It is hypothesized that the communication of long-distance dating relationship (LDDR) partners, relative to that of geographically close dating relationship (GCDR) partners, ref...
Article
Utilizing Bradbury and Fincham's (19886. Bradbury , T. N. , & Fincham , F. D. ( 1988 ). Individual difference variables in close relationships: A contextual model of marriage as an integrative framework . Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 54 , 713 – 721 . [CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®]View all references, 19907. Bradbury ,...
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This study examines argument sequences that couples use in conversations about relational problems and investigates the associations between argument sequences and control mutuality. Two additional relational variables, satisfaction and relationship length, are also examined. Lag sequential analyses and correlation analyses reveal that four sets of...
Article
The current investigation applied Face Management Theory to the study of honest but hurtful (HBH) evaluative messages within romantic relationships. Evaluations concerning the state of the relationship were found to be more face-threatening than those concerning one's personality, physical appearance, or behaviors. Also, the greater the perceived f...
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Two studies explore the seeming paradox reported in prior research on long-distance dating relationships (LDDRs): Despite limited interaction, LDDR partners evidence greater relational stability than partners in geographically close dating relationships (GCDRs). We investigate speculations that romantic idealization may be a key component in LDDR s...
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This study explored long-distance dating relationships’ (LDDRs) transition to geographic proximity. About half of LDDR partners experience this transition, whereas the other half end their relationships during separation. Among reunited relationships, one-third terminate within 3 months of reunion. Participants’ open-ended responses highlight chang...
Article
This article continues a research program on relational maintenance strategies used in marriage. In particular, we explore how equity and satisfaction, defined in terms of interdependence theory, individually and jointly are predictive of self-reported maintenance strategies. The rationale for the study is based on previous programmatic efforts, as...
Article
Differences in the conversational characteristics of mothers of two-year-old twins and mothers of two-year-old singletons with older siblings were investigated. Three maternal conversational characteristics were examined: discourse features, illocutionary force features, and style parameters. The twins' and singletons' language skills were also com...
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Full-text available
This study is follow-up to Haas and Stafford's (1998) initial exploration of communi-cative relationship maintenance behaviors in gay and lesbian relationships. This in-vestigation is an attempt to explore relationship maintenance behaviors of ongoing, same-sex relationships through direct comparison with those used in heterosexual marriages. Using...
Article
This thought-provoking volume offers an innovative and intriguing approach to the study of long-distance relationships. Author Laura Stafford examines romantic long-distance relationships and then expands the conception of long-distance relationships to include other relational types. She summarizes literature across the social sciences on various...
Article
Given that many cohabiting couples marry, our interest was in the changes that may accompany this shift in terms of relational and individual well-being. In addition, a comparison among three relationship groups was undertaken: those who entered directly into marriage, those who cohabitated and then married, and those who are long-term cohabiters....
Article
The purpose of this study is to compare the contributing role of two aspects of social interaction to the quality of marital relationships: the frequency of casual interaction between marital partners versus the quality of social interaction as exhibited by partners’ reliance on universal rules of social interaction. Specifically we examine the rel...
Article
Cultural expectations in U.S. society dictate that communication should be frequent and face-to-face in order to sustain close relationships, romantic partners should live in geographic proximity, and married individuals and parents and young children should share a residence. Such conceptions about communication in and residential structures of cl...
Article
Resilience in marriage is tied to the manner in which people strategically maintain their relationships. The associations between perceptions of five relational maintenance strategies (positivity, openness, assurances, social networks, and sharing tasks) and three fundamental relationship characteristics (liking, commitment, and control mutuality)...
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In the present study, we incorporate both routine and strategic maintenance behaviors in an expanded maintenance scale. In addition, we seek to determine whether sex or gender role is a stronger predictor of maintenance behaviors, and to ascertain the extent to which maintenance predicts the relational characteristics of satisfaction, commitment, l...
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The theory of the niche predicts that a new medium will compete with established media for consumer satisfaction, consumer time, and / or consumer advertising dollars. Competition between e-mail and telephone use was measured in this study at the level of gratifications derived by consumers. Gratifications and gratification opportunities (consumers...
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Thus far, researchers have made significant strides in identifying maintenance behaviors and articulating the impact of maintenance behaviors on salient relational characteristics. This study seeks to identify those variables which best predict the enactment of particular maintenance strategies among married individuals. Data were collected from 52...
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This study explored the household use of electronic mail. In a telephone probability sample of 881 adults, 112 adults reported they used electronic mail. This sample provided four superordinate reasons for home e‐mail use: interpersonal relationships; personal gain; business; and gratification opportunities. Overwhelmingly, home e‐mail was reported...
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The present study is an initial examination of the relationship maintenance behaviors used by gay male and lesbian couples to sustain their relationship. The study replicates the open-ended survey approach used by Dainton & Stafford (1993) to explore the maintenance behaviors of heterosexual couples. In general, gay and lesbian partners were found...
Article
There has been little systematic empirical research to date concerning women's choices to change or keep their surnames upon marriage. This study of 110 women employs a dialectical perspective to explore women's decisions concerning their surnames. Specifically, we identify the issues involved in making this decision, examine associations between t...
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This study extended research on women's surname choices and terms of address. Account of unmarried women and men were examined to identify factors and dialectical tensions in their reasoning about married women's surnames. Preferences for and meanings of women's titles, surname preferences for children, and perceptions concerning commitment and lov...
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It has been argued that women who forgo their birth names upon marriage will suffer a loss of personal sense of self. However, there is no study that assesses this proposal. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in feelings about self among women who adopted their husband's surnames, kept their birth names, or hyphenated their surnam...
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The purpose of this research effort is to examine five relational maintenance strategies and two measures of physical affection as predictors of love, liking, and satisfaction in marriage. The sample consisted of 200 married couples. Results indicate that perceptions of the partners’ use of maintenance strategies and respondents’ own satisfaction w...
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This investigation reports a typology of maintenance behaviors that were derived through inductive analyses of papers students wrote about their strategies for maintaining various relationships. Ten major strategies were inductively derived: positivity; openness; assurances; sharing tasks; social networks; joint activities; cards/letters/calls; avo...
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This study replicates and extends previous research by probing for routine behaviors that maintain relationships. In addition, maintenance behaviors of married vs dating partners are compared, and similarity of relational partners' reports of maintenance behaviors is assessed. Finally, the differences in the use of maintenance behaviors by men and...
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Utilizing equity theory, this study extends previous research on maintenance strategies. The manner in which relational maintenance strategies are reported and perceived is examined. It was hypothesized that maintenance strategies are used more in equitable relationships than in relationships characterized by underbenefitedness. Further, the use of...
Article
This study examines the manner in which perceptions of relational maintenance strategies used in romantic dyads vary according to relationship type (married, engaged, seriously dating and dating) and gender. Additionally, this study investigates how perceptions of partners' maintenance behaviors differentially affect the relational characteristics...
Article
This study focused upon responses to the emotion of embarrassment. Specifically, the situations causing embarrassment, the degree of perceived embarrassment and the agent of the embarrassment were examined as predictive of the embarrassed party's responses. These same three factors, as well as the response of the embarrassed person, were examined i...
Article
The phenomenon of idealization in college premarital long-distance relationships is explored. In this study, 71 college couples participated in a survey. Findings indicate long-distance couples have more restricted communication and are more idealized than their geographically close counterparts. Further, an associative pattern between restricted c...
Article
It has been suggested that blind persons lack appropriate communicative social skills. One aspect of social skills is the ability to regulate interaction smoothly. The study examined turn‐taking resources utilized by congenitally blind persons. Conversational Analysis was employed to discover the turn‐taking resources used by six congenitally blind...
Article
The effects of participant and observer perspectives on the quantity and quality of information recalled from conversations were examined. The observers were exposed to the conversation through videotape, audiotape, or transcript. No differences were found between participants and observers on measures of recall quantity. However, analysis of the c...
Article
Participants took part in a two-stage investigation examining the changes in memory for conversation over time. The impact of memory expectancy and mode of recall were also examined. Participants could recall only about 10% of their conversations immediately after the conversations. One month later this figure had dropped to 4%. Examination of reca...
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Reviews ERIC resources concerning methods of achieving the desired state of mutual cooperation between parents and teachers. (AEW)
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While there has recently been a notable increase in attempts by memory researchers to focus on more naturalistic stimuli little attention has been paid to conversations. Conversations represent stimuli that are distinctly different in a number of ways from most other stimuli that people are required to remember. Conversations are jointly created, c...
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Full-text available
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Texas at Austin, 1982. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 105-110).
Article
provides an overview of parenting from a family systems framework / offers a brief review of systems concepts / approaches parenting from 3 perspectives: the parenting of mothers vs fathers; the effect of the marital relationship on parenting; and . . . the influence of siblings on parenting / research reflective of a more truly systemic nature is...
Article
This volume focuses on the interpersonal communication of parents and their children. This book endeavors to offer an interdisciplinary integration of recent Western (primarily American) research on parent–child interaction in the "traditional family structure." The child variables examined in this volume are self-control, self-concept, and com...
Article
summarize strategic and routine maintenance behaviors [in personal relationships] / present our conceptualization of maintenance behaviors / present findings from several studies that focus on the simple question, What do people do to sustain their relationships / conclude by articulating what we feel are important future research directions (PsycI...
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Texas at Austin, 1985. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 133-140).
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Thesis (M.A.)--Ohio State University, 1988. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 74-78). Advisor: Laura L. Stafford, Dept. of Communication.

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