Thorson’s Study On Family Storytelling Interactions Wins Research Award

by Daniel Morgan

Quality Interactions and Family Storytelling,” which Allison Thorson and her coauthors published in Communication Reports in 2013, has won the 2016 Milton Dickens Award for Exemplary Empirical Research, which recognizes the best empirically-based research published in the journal.

The study was among the first of its kind to focus on the interplay (as opposed to examining them separately) between both the family’s, as a whole, and the individual members’ satisfaction derived from a storytelling experience (the telling of an often told family story).

“The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which perceived quality of a storytelling interaction varied within and between families, thus allowing us to paint a more realistic account of the varying opinions between families and among family members,” Thorson and her coauthors wrote.

“Highlighted within these findings,” Thorson, et al., continued, “are the underlying complexities of communication that hold implications for the study of family systems, most prominent of which is the importance of individual-level differences in satisfaction (i.e., when family members have different opinions as to the quality of the family relationship.”

The Milton Dickens Award is given at the end of each editorial term.

Thorson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, as well as a committee member for both the Interdisciplinary Minor in Child and Youth Studies and the Interdisciplinary Minor in Aging and Gerontology.

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