Allison Thorson

Allison Thorson

Associate Professor

Program Director • Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-5703 Kalmanovitz Hall 332

Biography

Allison Thorson is an associate professor in the communication studies department. Her research focuses on interpersonal and family communication with an emphasis on how individuals and families communicatively manage and maintain individual and relational well-being in the context of (often deemed taboo) unexpected, hurtful, or non-normative events and underexplored relationship types.Her work has been published in outlets such as Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, The Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Family Communication, and Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, and cited by the Huffington Post and YahooNews!.

In addition to her research, Professor Thorson chairs USF’s Interdisciplinary Committee on Children and Youth and USF’s Interdisciplinary Committee on Aging. She is also program director for USF’s Child and Youth Studies minor and USF’s Gerontology minor.

Appointments
Program Director, Child and Youth Studies minor
Program Director, Gerontology minor
Chair, Interdisciplinary Committee on Aging
Chair, Interdisciplinary Committee on Children and Youth
Education
PhD, Communication Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
MA, Missouri State University
BA, University of Northern Iowa
Experience
Interpersonal communication
Family communication
Parent-child communication
Communication privacy management theory
Family communication patterns theory
Relationship maintenance
Shared family identity
Communication accommodation theory
Topic avoidance
Research
Interpersonal communication
Family communication
Parent-child communication
Communication privacy management theory
Family communication patterns theory
Relationship maintenance
Shared family identity
Communication accommodation theory
Topic avoidance
Selected Publications

Thorson, A. R., & Holman, A. J. (forthcoming, 2021). Family communication as taboo. In J. Allen, J. Manning, & K. Denker (Eds.), Family Communication As… Metaphors for Family Communication. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

McBride, M. C., Thorson, A. R., & Bergen, K. M. (2020b). Privacy rule decision criteria: An examination of core and catalyst criteria that shape disclosures in the work-spouse relationship. Management Communication Quarterly. 

McBride, M. C., Thorson, A. R., & Bergen, K. M. (2020a). An examination of individually performed and (co)managed facework: Unique communication within the work-spouse relationship. Communication Studies. 

Thorson, A. R. (2019). Investigating the relationships between unfaithful parent’s apologies, adult children’s third-party forgiveness, and communication of forgiveness following parental infidelity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 36(9), 2759–2780. 

Thorson, A. R. (2017). Communication and parental infidelity: A qualitative analysis of how adult children cope in a topic avoidant environment. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 58 (3), 175-193.

Thorson, A. R. & Horstman, H. K. (2017). Family communication patterns and emerging adult consumer outcomes: Revisiting the consumer socialization model. Western Journal of Communication, 81(4), 483-506.

Foster J. E. & Thorson, A. R. (2016). “I’m too stressed to ‘like’ your post!”: Facebook relational maintenance, stress, and closeness. Iowa Journal of Communication, 48, 76 - 95.

Thorson, A. R. (2015). Investigating adult children’s experiences with privacy turbulence following the discovery of parental infidelity. Journal of Family Communication, 15, 1-17.

Thorson, A. R. (2014). Feeling caught: Adult children’s experiences with parental infidelity. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 15, 78-86.

Thorson, A. R. & Kranstuber Horstman, H. A. (2014). Buy now, pay later: Family communication patterns theory, parental financial support, and emerging adults’ openness about credit card behaviors. Journal of Family Communication, 14, 53-71. 

Thorson, A. R., Rittenour, C. E., Koenig Kellas, J., & Trees, A. R. (2013). Quality interactions and family storytelling. Communication Reports, 26 (2), 88-100.

Thorson, A. R. (2013). Adult children’s discovery of their parents’ infidelity. Qualitative Communication Research, 2(1), 61-80.

Thorson, A. R. (2012). Parental infidelity: Adult children’s attributions for parents’ extramarital relationships. In L. M. Webb & F. C. Dickson (Eds.), Communication for Families in Crisis: Theories, Methods, Strategies. (pp. 55-75). New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. [includes original data and analysis]

Soliz, J., Thorson, A. R., & Rittenour, C. E (November, 2009). Communicative correlates of satisfaction, family identity, and group salience in multiracial/ethnic families. Journal of Marriage and Family, 71, 819 - 832.

Thorson, A. R. (2009). Adult children’s experiences with their parent’s infidelity: Communicative protection and access rules in the absence of divorce. Communication Studies, 60(1), 32-48.

Awards & Distinctions

2019 Diamond Anniversary Award for Top Competitive Paper presented to the Organizational and Professional Communication Interest Group, Central States Communication Association, Omaha NE – McBride, M. C., Thorson, A. R., & Bergen, K. M. (2019, April). Personal privacy orientations: A look at core and catalyst criteria that shape disclosures in the work spouse relationship

Awarded Top Paper (2019). Paper presented to the Interpersonal Communication Division at the 2019 annual meeting of the Western States Communication Association, Seattle WA - Thorson, A. R. (2019, February) Investigating the relationships between unfaithful parent’s apologies, adult children’s third-party forgiveness, and communication of forgiveness following parental infidelity.

2018 Innovator Award for Outstanding Edited Collection, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Caucus, Central States Communication Association - Contributing author of a chapter in Activities for Teaching Gender and Sexuality in the University Classroom

Awarded 2016 Milton Dickens Award for Exemplary Empirical Research; Chosen as the most outstanding article in Communication Reports for the term spanning volumes 26 - 29 (2013 - 2016). Thorson, A. R., Rittenour, C. E., Koenig Kellas, J., & Trees, A. R. (2013). Quality interactions and family storytelling, 26 (2), 88-100. doi:10.1080/08934215.2013.797482

Awarded Top Four Paper (2016). Paper presented to the Interpersonal Communication Division at the 2016 annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Fukuoka, Japan. - Thorson, A. R. & Horstman, H. K. (2016, June). Family communication patterns and emerging adult consumer outcomes: Revising the Consumer Socialization Model.

Awarded Top Four Paper (2013). Paper presented to the Family Communication Division at the 2013 annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Washington D.C. - Thorson, A. R. & Kranstuber Horstman, H. A. (2013, November). Buy now, pay later: Family communication patterns theory, parental financial support, and emerging adults’ openness about credit card behaviors.

Top Four Paper, National Communication Association Health Communication Division, 2012