5 Relationship Centered

5.1 Affection Exchange Theory

5.2 Transnational Scholarship

5.3 Resilience Communication Theories

(Buzzanell 2010)

  • Human resilience is “the ability to”bounce back" or reintegrate after difficult life experiences"

  • Resilience is not possessed by individual but by discourse, interaction, and processes:

    • crafting normalcy

    • affirming identity anchors:

      • identity anchor is “a relatively enduring cluster of identity discourses upon which individuals and their familial, collegial, and/or community members rely when explaining who they are for themselves and in relation to each other.”
    • maintaining and using communication networks

      • Social capital is important in time of need
    • putting alternative logics to work

    • downplaying negative feelings while foregrounding positive emotions

  • (Richardson 2002) defines resilience as “the process of reintegrating from disruptions in life”

    • requires “trigger event”


  • Theory of resilience and relational load (TRRL) in the context of social

    • based on theory of

      • emotional capital

      • adaptive calibration model, allostatic load, investment model, family systems theory, affectionate exchange theory, broaden and build theory

    • Assumptions

      • people want to feel validated and secure, based on sociometer hypothesis, intergroup theories, social identity theory, evolutionary theories (e.g., exchange theory).

      • stress is natural and necessary (either good or bad).

        • good stress = positive perception of stressors

        • bad stress = distress = negative perception of stressors

      • body and mind work together to cope with stress

      • body has a natural diurnal rhythm

      • relationship have homeostasis that is “continually being calibrated in response to stress and the communication of stress.”

    • Propositions:

      • “Validating communicative maintenance behaviors and actions over time build positive emotional reserves. Emotional reserves reflect the accumulation of investments (i.e., maintenance) and discrepancies in investments”

      • Communal orientation & discrepancies influence communication maintenance behaviors/discrepancies, and vice versa

      • Communal orientation, emotional reserves, discrepancies in the communal orientation influence how one perceives stressors, which later influence their investment in the relationship

      • communal orientation and emotional reserves, discrepancies int eh communal orientation influence threat and security-based appraisals and communication pattern

        • Similar constructs to communal orientation are cognitive interdependence, couple identity, communal coping

        • self-control could be depleted

      • continued depletion of resources and increased stress increase relational load

      • short-term depletion and relation load have short-term and long-term health consequences respectively.

      • “Security-based appraisals and communication patterns facilitate resilience, the potential to thrive, and short-term and long-term health”

      • Communicative maintenance strategies can be learned

  • Resilience is “the ability to adapt positively when confronted with adversity or stress” (Luthar 2003)

  • positive relationship maintenance can serve as resilience in close relationships, via

    • nonverbal behaviors

    • perceptions

Picture from Personal Relationships, Volume: 23, Issue: 4, Pages: 663-683, First published: 26 October 2016, DOI: (10.1111/pere.12159)

(Buzzanell and Houston 2018)

Resilience include:

  • Individual/relational resilience: social relationship can increase adaptive ability to adversity. To increase one’s resilience

    • giving and receiving affection

    • exchanging person-centered messages

    • being present

  • family resilience

    • parent-child (dyadic) can foster resilience
  • organizational resilience

    • 5 tensional processes
  • community resilience

    • bouncing forward = interactional process that helps individuals to adapt successfully to changing circumstances
  • national resilience

    • resilience is defined by Hamilton Bean as a “central trope,” “shared social phenomenon” that solidify “shared feelings of resoluteness.”

(Kam, Torres, and Fazio 2018)

  • How undocumented youth cope with stress at the family level

  • Resilience is “the process by which individuals exposed to adversity exhibit positive adaptation in spite of this adversity.” It is a general pattern or process than a trait or quality.

  • To cope with stress, youths use strategies:

    • psychological suppression

    • distraction/diversion

    • reframing

    • normalizing

  • The individual as an asset

  • The family as a resource

  • Stress come from

    • unable to go places, unable to attend college, employment, help family financially, affordable health care

    • fear of detainment/deportation

(First et al. 2020)

  • Covid-19 exposure directly influence stress, and indirectly influence stress and depress through media use and interpersonal communication.

5.4 Communication Privacy Management Theory

  • CPM is under a boarder context as compared to only disclosure. It’s the dialectical tension of private information between revealing and concealing under a rule management system.

  • Guiding maxims:

    • Assumption maxims:

      1. public-private dialectical assumptions: dialectical nature of revealing and concealing

      2. privacy management assumptions:

        • We are entitled to our private information
        • people should control the flow of private information
        • managing private information is not absolute
      3. boundary metaphor assumptions

    • Axiomatic maxims:

      1. Conceptualizing private information ownership: one can be authorized, or unauthorized co-owners of information.

      2. conceptualizing private information control: privacy rules are applied based

        1. core criteria: culture, gender, privacy orientations
        2. catalyst: privacy rules adapt to changes.
      3. conceptualizing private information turbulence: gossip breaks privacy

    • Interaction maxims:

      1. shared privacy boundaries: there is a boundary around the shared information.

      2. coordinating privacy boundaries: co-own, co-manage, 3 operations:

        1. privacy boundary linkages: alliances between a discloser and recipients

        2. private information co-ownership rights: privileges and expected responsibility for co-owners of private information.

        3. privacy boundary permeability: the amount of openness within a privacy boundary. managed boundary in

          1. disproportionate way
          2. intersected way
          3. Unified way
      3. ramifications of privacy boundary turbulence

  • Application:

    • (Petronio 2007): translational aspect
    • (Bute, Brann, and Hernandez 2017): Orgasm and alcohol on communication after sexual activity.
    • (Brummett and Steuber 2014): interracial partners disclose relational information to social network members. They both experience power struggles while managing private and relational information.
    • (Denes and Afifi 2014): miscarriages are bound by societal-level expectations about how they should be talked in interpersonal communication.

5.5 Relational Turbulence Theory

  • Relationship progresses in two ways

    • Qualitative change perspective: sudden tranformational change

    • Quantitative change perspective: incremental shifts

  • causes of relational turbulence during times of transition

    • relational uncertainty ,from emotion-in-relationships model, refers to “degree of confidence (or lack of confidence) that individuals have in their judgments about the nature of their relationship.” (L. Baxter and Braithwaite 2008.pp521)

      • Consists of

        • Self uncertainty

        • Partner uncertainty

        • Relationship uncertainty

    • Interference from partners: from emotion-in-relationships model, consists of

      • Inference from partners

      • Facilitation from partners

  • Under relational turbulence, people use both avoidant and aggressive messages (L. Baxter and Braithwaite 2008.pp523). It changes the message processing and message production mechanisms.

  • This theory can be applied to a broad range of contexts from couples, parents, military personnel, etc.

  • Applications:

(Solomon et al. 2016, 509)