Publication Date

Spring 2016

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Blair Thompson (Director), Angela Jerome, Jieyoung Kong

Degree Program

Department of Communication

Degree Type

Master of Organizational Communication


This study gained the perspective of children from single parent families and explored their family communication patterns. An inductive, qualitative approach was used. Interviews were conducted with eleven participants gathered from undergraduate classes, who had lived with their single parent for a minimum of 3 years. Four major themes emerged from the data: communication, challenges and triumphs, structure, and how parents came to be single. The majority of participants appeared to exhibited pluralistic family communication patterns. Results also revealed the importance of open communication in single parent families and what they learned through their experiences living with their custodial parent. Limitations and directions for future research will also be discussed.


Child Psychology | Communication | Family, Life Course, and Society