Dawn O Braithwaite
Department Chair & Willa Cather Professor, Interpersonal & Family Communication Communication Studies

Ph.D., University of Minnesota

See Dr. Braithwaite's Message from the Department Chair



DR. DAWN O. BRAITHWAITE, WILLA CATHER PROFESSOR AND DEPARTMENT CHAIR, studies how people in personal and family relationships communicate and negotiate family change and challenges. Her research centers on communication in understudied and changing families, communication rituals, and dialectics of relating in stepfamilies and among voluntary (fictive) kin. Dr. Braithwaite has authored over 120 articles and is co-author or co-editor of five books including Family Communication: Cohesion and Change and Engaging Theories in Interpersonal Communication. She received the National Communication Association's Brommel Award for Outstanding Contributions in Family Communication and the NCA Becker Distinguished Service Award. She received the outstanding book awards from the NCA Family Communication Division and the Interpersonal Communication Division. She was awarded the UNL College of Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding Research in Social Science. Dr. Braithwaite was named the Western States Communication Association Distinguished Scholar in 2014.  Dr. Braithwaite is a Past President of the Western States Communication Association and a Past President of the National Communication Association.



Braithwaite, D. O., Waldron, V. R., Allen, J., Bergquist, G., Marsh, J., Oliver, B., Storck, K., Swords, N., & Tschampl-Diesing, C.  (2018). “Feeling warmth and close to her”: Communication and resilience reflected in turning points in positive adult stepchild-stepparent relationships. Journal of Family Communication18, 92-109.

Waldron, V. R., Braithwaite, D. O., Oliver, B. M., Kloeber, D., N., & March, J. S. (2018). Discourses of forgiveness and resilience in stepchild-stepparent relationships. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 46 (5), 561-582.

 Braithwaite, D. O., Suter, E. A., & Floyd, K. (Eds.). (2018). Engaging theories in family communicationMultiple perspectives. (2nd ed.) New York, NY: Routledge.

 Galvin, K., Braithwaite, D. O., Schrodt, P., & Bylund, C. (2019). Family communication:  Cohesion and change (10th ed.).  New York, NY: Routledge.

Braithwaite, D. O. Stephenson Abetz, J., Moore, J., & Brockhage, K. (2016). Communication structures of supplemental voluntary kin relationshipsFamily Relations, 65, 616-630.