Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication & Theatre Arts

Committee Director

Thomas J. Socha

Committee Member

Gary A. Beck

Committee Member

Muge Akpinar-Elci


Research on family health communication is based in part on the assumption that families actually communicate about a wide variety of topics pertaining to their health and wellness (or lack thereof). However, whether they do communicate about health and wellness, and exactly what they communicate about concerning health and wellness as well as how often, remains undocumented. To begin to address this problem of documenting the extent to which families talk about health and wellness, this study adapted Warren and Neer’s (1986) Family Sex Communication Quotient to create and report the preliminary validation of a new measurement instrument called the Family Health Communication Quotient (FHCQ). The new measurement assesses an individual’s reported levels of comfort, perception, and value regarding health and wellness communication within their family. To assess the new measurement’s convergent validity, the Revised Family Communication Patterns Instrument (Ritchie & Fitzpatrick, 1990) as well as a new Family Health Evaluation questionnaire were used. Results confirm the concurrent validity of the FHCQ instrument and found that families with high FHCQ scores were also high in conversation-orientation, more likely to talk about health and wellness topics, have a working relationship with a physician, a positive outlook on diet, and exercise regularly.


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