Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Christine E. Rittenour

Committee Co-Chair

Matthew M. Martin

Committee Member

Matthew M. Martin

Committee Member

Scott A. Myers


The goal of this thesis was to further the literature on mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships by directly employing Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) to examine relationships between categories of accommodation and relational quality in these relationships. Daughters-in-law (N= 677) were solicited via private Facebook groups to complete an online survey regarding accommodation (their own and their mothers-in-law’s), their feelings of shared family identity, and their relationship satisfaction in their relationship with their mothers-in-law. Results demonstrated relationships between mothers-in-law’s accommodation, overaccommodation, and underaccommodation of their daughters-in-law and daughters-in-law’s feelings of shared family identify and relationship satisfaction. Additionally, relationships were present between daughters-in-law’s feelings of shared family identity and relationship satisfaction and their accommodation (active and inactive), nonaccommodation, and reluctant accommodation of their mothers-in-law. These results confirm that CAT is directly applicable to mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships in thatbothwomen’s accommodation coincides with daughters-in-law’s perceptions of satisfaction and feeling like a family. Additional findings assert the importance of mediated communication, warrant further study of the nature of in-law dynamics, and invite researchers to reconsider the conceptualization of relationship satisfaction in mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships.