Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Speech Communication

First Advisor



Family communication scholars have noted that in comparison with other family relationships, those between adult sons and their fathers have been overlooked. The examination of this dyad has gathered more attention over the years, but there is still very little work being done to understand the actual communication between fathers and their adult sons. This dissertation explores everyday interactions between fathers and their sons. The study investigates patterns, themes, and topics that occur within the daily conversations of this dyad. The majority of the studies that have looked at the father-son relationship have employed self-report measures to gather data. This study goes straight to the talk of the participants by using conversation analysis as the primary methodology. A secondary methodology of interviewing was also used to gather additional information from the participants. A group of father-son dyads were recruited to record some of their daily interactions for a short period of time and they were also asked to participate in a round of interviews. The researcher conducted a brief analysis of the participants' tapes upon receiving them. Then the researcher met with the participants to ask them questions about specific examples that had been selected from their taped interactions. The researcher then conducted a more extensive analysis of the recorded data and used the insights gathered from the participants to supplement the analysis. The analysis of the participants' interactions was divided into five key sections covering supportive communication, humor, conflict, troubles-talk, and informative talk in father-son conversations.




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