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Interpersonal Comm Chapt 11 terms, test 3

agentic friendships

(p. 385) Voluntary relationships focused on achieving specific practical goals, such as those among peers in a study group or colleagues at work.

blended family

(p. 369) A family type where the husband and wife provide care for one or more children who are not the biological offspring of both adults. Often called "stepfamilies" or "remarried" families.

cohabiting couple

(p. 369) Two unmarried adults who are involved romantically and live together with or without children.

communal friendships

(p. 383) Voluntary relationships focused on sharing time and activities together.

conformity orientation

(p. 370) The degree to which family members believe communication should emphasize similarity or diversity in attitudes, beliefs, and values.

consensual families

(p. 371) Families characterized by high levels of conformity and conversation orientation. For example, Dan's parents encourage their son to be open but also expect him to maintain family unity through agreement or obedience.

conversation orientation

(p. 369) The degree to which family members view communication as the principal vehicle for maintaining family bonds.

extended family

(p. 369) A family type consisting of a group of people who are related to one another—such as aunts, uncles, cousins, or grandparents—and who live in the same household.


(p. 367) A group of people who create and maintain a mutual identity, emotional bonds, and communication boundaries through how they interact with each other and others; who share a common past, present, and future; and who may or may not share a biological heritage.

family communication patterns

(p. 369) Beliefs about the role communication should play in family life and the interactions that result from those beliefs. Among families there are variations in how much or little conversation and conformity are expected in a family. See also conformity orientation; conversation orientation.

family communication rules

(p. 377) The boundaries a family establishes about what topics family members may discuss, how they should speak about them, and who should have access to family-relevant information. For instance, Melinda knows that she can ask her parents about her grandfather but cannot speak of him to her aunt, who is deeply resentful of him.

family stories

(p. 380) Narratives of family events retold to bond family members. For example, Katie's mother often recounts how Katie was born on the day of a crippling blizzard.


(p. 382) Voluntary relationships between people who like and enjoy each other's company.

friendship rules

(p. 391) Guidelines for appropriate communication and behavior within friendships, such as keeping a confidence and showing support.

FWB relationships (friends with benefits)

(p. 388) Friendships negotiated to include sexual activity without a commitment to deeper emotional bonds.

gay or lesbian family

(p. 368) A family type consisting of two people of the same sex who serve as parents for the biological or adopted children of the adults.

laissez-faire families

(p. 372) Families characterized by low levels of conformity and conversation orientation. For example, Samantha's parents prefer limited communication and encourage their daughter to make her own choices and decisions.

nuclear family

(p. 368) A family type consisting of a father, a mother, and their biological children.

pluralistic families

(p. 371) Families characterized by low levels of conformity and high levels of conversation orientation. For example, Julie's parents encourage her to express herself freely, and when conflicts arise, they collaborate with her to resolve them.

protective families

(p. 371) Families characterized by high levels of conformity and low levels of conversation orientation. For example, Brian's parents expect their son to be respectful, and they discourage family discussions.

single-parent family

(p. 369) A household in which one adult has the sole responsibility to be the children's caregiver.


"I feel...When you... Could you..." A way to communicate positively


communicating with family members in an upbeat and hopeful fashion


behaving toward other family members in ways that are consistent, trustworthy, and ethical


telling family members how much they mean to you


wanting to share personal information as well as protect ourselves from the possible negative consequences of sharing


struggle between feeling connected to the family and wanting a separate identity

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