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Amanda Holmstrom: Communicating Social Support to those in Need: What Research Does – and Doesn’t – Tell Us

Friday, January 17, 2020, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in CAS 145

We rely on the people around us to help us move through our personal, professional, and relational struggles. Consequently, the provision and reception of high-quality, supportive communication is vital for physical, mental, and relational well-being. However, we sometimes lack the skills to send the most effective messages of support to those in need. In my talk, I’ll discuss my research program that is centered around the communication of social support. In doing so, I’ll focus on key theoretical and pragmatic implications of this body of research.

Amanda Holmstrom is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at Michigan State University. Her teaching and research revolve around interpersonal communication topics. Specifically, much of her research focuses on relationships between supportive communication processes and individuals’ psychological, physical, and relational well-being. The goal of this research is both to advance theory and to develop interventions to enhance individuals’ well-being via social support. Her research involves diverse populations, including breast cancer patients, unemployed workers, parole and probation clients, and agricultural producers. She is the current chair of the Interpersonal Communication Division of the International Communication Association.