Family Health Communication

Authored by: Maureen P. Keeley , Lauren Lee

The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication

Print publication date:  September  2021
Online publication date:  September  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367488956
eBook ISBN: 9781003043379
Adobe ISBN:


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Examining the family context and family issues is critical for understanding their effects on health. In this chapter the authors highlight how family members influence one another on six factors important to communication regarding health: (a) providing caregiving and social support, (b) socialization, (c) sensemaking, (d) patterns of communication about wellness and illness, (e) developing resilience, and (f) exploring family health moral dilemmas. The chapter emphasizes the importance of recognizing the family as an essential component of the health trajectory. Individuals do not experience wellness and illness in isolation, and for most people, it is their family who accompanies them throughout their life journey. Family communication theories are highlighted throughout for greater explanation.

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