Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Scott A. Myers

Committee Member

Alan K. Goodboy

Committee Member

Matthew M. Martin

Committee Member

Christine E. Rittenour

Committee Member

Jeffrey T. Child


This dissertation served two purposes. The first purpose was to examine the relationships between the two dimensions of family communication patterns (i.e., conversation orientation and conformity orientation) and four student classroom communication behaviors (i.e., out-of-class communication, in-class oral participation, instructional dissent, and students’ motives to communicate with their instructors). The second purpose of this dissertation was to investigate academic resilience as a mediator in the relationship between family communication patterns and student classroom communication behaviors. It was discovered that students’ family conversation orientation was associated positively with their oral participation and the relational, functional, participatory, and excuse-making motives to communicate with instructors. Conversation orientation was associated negatively with vengeful dissent. Students’ conformity orientation was positively associated with their use of vengeful dissent and the relational, participatory, excuse-making, and sycophantic motives to communicate with instructors. It was also discovered that conformity orientation moderated the relationship between conversation orientation and academic resilience. Additionally, a conditional indirect effect was discovered in the relationship between conversation orientation and the functional motive to communicate with instructors through academic resilience, as it was conditional upon levels of conformity orientation. These results and implications were discussed in light of existing research findings on family communication patterns, academic resilience, and students’ classroom communication behaviors. The results of this dissertation should be interpreted with caution due to the structural validity issues of the instruments and the data collection procedures.