Press Room

Communicating Well to Avoid Family Stress During the Holidays

December 16, 2013
Experts Available

Washington, DC  -  The holiday season is here and families are gathering to spend quality time together. Families are often diverse and can include in-laws, step-relatives, relatives who are of a different ethnicity or religion, and unresolved sibling tensions. Trying to successfully interact with a diverse mix of family members can add stress to the holiday season.

Members of the National Communication Association who study various forms of family communication can provide insight into the following:

  • What are some helpful tips for effective communication with in-laws?
  • What unique communication challenges are often faced by step-families, and what can be done to help alleviate those challenges?
  • How can grandparents and grandchildren bridge the generation gap to communicate effectively?


Carrie Prentice, Ph.D.
Department of Communication Studies, University of South Dakota
Dr. Prentice studies small group communication and family communication, specifically communicating with in-laws.

Paul Schrodt, Ph.D.
College of Communication, Texas Christian University
Dr. Schrodt’s research investigates communication behaviors that help step-families function and alleviate feelings of conflict among step-family members. His research also examines how best to improve co-parenting relationships in step-families.

Jordan Soliz, Ph.D.
Department of Communication Studies, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Dr. Soliz studies communication processes in multi-ethnic and interfaith families, and communication between grandparents and grandchildren.