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

Communication Matters Blog via Psychology Today

Dr. Braithwaite 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 130 articles and is co-author or co-editor of six books including Family Communication: Cohesion and Change and Engaging Theories in Interpersonal Communication. She is a Past President of the National Communication Association and the Western States Communication Association.


  • Distinguished Scholar, National Communication Association
  • National Communication Association's Brommel Award for Outstanding Contributions in Family Communication
  • National Communication Association's Becker Distinguished Service Award for scholarship, mentoring, and service
  • Distinguished Scholar, Western States Communication Association
  • Outstanding book awards from the NCA Family Communication Division and Interpersonal Communication Division
  • UNL College of Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding Research in Social Science


Representative Publications

Bach, B.W., Braithwaite, D.O., & Ganesh, S. (Eds.) (2022). By degrees: Resilience, relationships and success in communication graduate studies. Cognella.

Braithwaite, D. O. & Schrodt P. (Eds.). (2022). Engaging theories in interpersonal communication: Multiple perspectives (3nd ed.).

Braithwaite, D. O., & Suter, E. (in press). Family communication. In K. Adamsons, A. Few-Demo, C. Proulx & K. Roy (Eds.) Sourcebook of Family Theories and Methodologies (2nd ed.). Sage.

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 Communication, 18, 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.





Ph.D., University of Minnesota