Maximizing Wellness in Successful Aging and Cancer Coping: The Importance of Family Communication from a Socioemotional Selectivity Theoretical Perspective

Carla L. Fisher, Jon F. Nussbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interpersonal communication is a fundamental part of being and key to health. Interactions within family are especially critical to wellness across time. Family communication is a central means of adaptation to stress, coping, and successful aging. Still, no theoretical argument in the discipline exists that prioritizes kin communication in health. Theoretical advances can enhance interventions and policies that improve family life. This article explores socioemotional selectivity theory (SST), which highlights communication in our survival. Communication partner choice is based on one’s time perspective, which affects our prioritization of goals to survive—goals sought socially. This is a first test of SST in a family communication study on women’s health and aging. More than 300 women of varying ages and health status participated. Two time factors, later adulthood and late-stage breast cancer, lead women to prioritize family communication. Findings provide a theoretical basis for prioritizing family communication issues in health reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Family Communication
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication

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