Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
This research investigated how Family Communication Patterns Theory, one of the leading theories in the study of family communication, relates to parent-child communication regarding religion and outlook on the end of life. Using pairs of parent-child participants this research sought to connect the family type and style in which one was raised, with their likelihood to remain in the religion they were raised with, as well as their acceptance or fear regarding the end of life. This research seeks to close the gap between parenting styles/family dynamics and adult feelings, thoughts, and beliefs regarding religion and death. This research was based on two research questions: Do dyads agree on their Family Communication Patterns Theory Family Type and which family type is most common amongst dyads who do agree? And to what extent can Family Communication Patterns Theory be used to understand and predict an individual’s feelings regarding death, as well as their conformity to the religion they were raised with, and the ways in which they self-evaluate their understanding and feelings of death? Overall, this research found that sixty-six out of 106 dyads agreed on family type while forty disagreed. This research also found that children were far more fearful as a whole than their parents/guardians who thought death was a natural part of life and accepted it. The majority of participants also fell within the Consensual or Pluralistic Family Types. Regarding the children who participated in this research found that children of the Consensual Family Type are accepting of the end of life, children of the Protective Family Type and the Pluralistic Family Type are fearful of the end of life, and children of the Laissez-Faire Family Type avoid thinking about the end of life. Children of the Consensual and Pluralistic Family Type have primarily high religious self-evaluation and low religious conformity. Children of the Protective and Laissez-Faire Family Type have primarily low religious self-evaluation and low religious conformity. Regarding the parents/guardians who participated in this research found that parents/guardians of the Consensual Family Type, Pluralistic Family Type, and Laissez-Faire Family Type thought death was a natural part of life, while parents/guardians of the Protective Family Type accepted the end of life. Parents/guardians of the Consensual and Pluralistic Family Type have primarily high religious self-evaluation and high religious conformity. Parents/guardians of the Protective Family Type have either high religious self-evaluation and high religious conformity or low religious self-evaluation and low religious conformity. Parents/guardians of the Laissez-Faire Family Type have primarily low religious self-evaluation and low religious conformity.
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Strand, Erica Danielle Cecilia, "Death and Dynasties: Using Family Communication Patterns Theory to Understand Individual Feelings Regarding the End of Life" (2023). Communication. 17.