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SC&I Research Chosen as Top Paper by Eastern Communication Association
Communication Professor Jennifer Theiss and Doctoral Students to present research at ECA conference in March

Faculty, students, and alumni from SC&I’s Communication Department will attend the Eastern Communication Association’s 112th annual conference. The virtual event is being held from March 24–March 28; this year’s theme is “Resilience. The theme reflects the conference’s vision “to engage resilience thoughtfully as a persistent response to overcoming obstacles, thriving despite challenges, and adapting to an ever-changing global landscape.”  

The conference selected as its top paper in interpersonal communication, “Assessing the Effects of COVID-19 on Romantic Relationships and the Communal Coping Strategies Partners Use to Manage the Stress of a Pandemic,” co-authored by Professor of Communication and Director of the Ph.D. Program Jennifer Theiss and four of SC&I’s doctoral students: lead author Hannah JonesDeborah YoonJorlanditha Austin, and Lauren Lee.  

Commenting on their research, Jennifer Theiss said, “The results of this study showed that the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic were especially challenging for cohabiting romantic couples as they struggled to coordinate their behaviors, communicate effectively, maintain intimacy, and manage stress and conflict. Couples coped with these conditions in various ways, such as establishing new routines, seeking opportunities for small indulgences and joy, establishing boundaries for work and home life, reinforcing intimacy and connection, and practicing mindfulness. Although the pandemic has been a source of stress for many people, couples are finding new and creative ways to maintain their relationship during these trying times.”

Click on the links to learn more about SC&I's Ph.D. program in Communication, Information and Media, SC&I’s Communication Major, and the Eastern Communication Association.

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