Joan Hogan

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Communication Studies and Theatre


This study focused on the computer mediated communication of e-mail and its effect on college students' communication with family members. Schutz' FIRO theory of needs inherent in interpersonal relationships was used in this research. A modified version of the FIRO-B instrument provided a basis for questions that demonstrated the subjects' needs for inclusion, control, and affection. The research utilized Pearson and Nelson's definition of family: "an organized, relational, transactional group, usually occupying a common living space over an extended time period and possessing a confluence of interpersonal images that evolve through the exchange of meaning over time" (1997, p. 369). The research elicited assumptions about e-mail, its use, its benefits, and its impact as a new form of communication. The research established a significant relationship between maintenance of family and communication by e-mail.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Electronic mail messages College students -- Family relationships Communication in families



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University