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Lay Conceptions of “Family”: A Replication and Extension
Journal of Family Communication (2009)
  • Leslie A. Baxter, University of Iowa
  • Caro Henauw
  • Dena Huisman
This study replicates and extends research initiated by Trost (1990). In particular, 181 university students provided perceptual data on the family status of each of 23 structural constellations. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups that manipulated two independent variables: the linguistic term used to assess family status (“a family” vs. “family”) and the attributed quantity of communication among constellation members (low vs. high in frequency of interaction). Results indicated that the presence of children, intactness, co-residence of family members, marriage, heterosexuality (but only in the absence of children), and non-fictive union increased perceptions of family status. Across all structural features, the attributed presence of frequent communication increased the perception of family status.
Publication Date
July, 2009
Citation Information
Leslie A. Baxter, Caro Henauw and Dena Huisman. "Lay Conceptions of “Family”: A Replication and Extension" Journal of Family Communication Vol. 9 Iss. 3 (2009)
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