Handbook of Health Communication

By Teresa L. Thompson; Alicia M. Dorsey et al. | Go to book overview

14
Everyday Interpersonal
Communication and Health
Rebecca J. Welch Cline
University of Florida

Health communication, as an area of theory, research, and practice, focuses on the relationships between communication and health, health attitudes and beliefs, and health behavior. Health communication research has focused more on formal than informal contexts. When investigating informal contexts, researchers have attended more to mass than to interpersonal communication. The purpose of this chapter is to address the “missing box, ” the role of everyday interpersonal interaction as an arena of health communication. The chapter presents a rationale for exploring everyday interpersonal communication and health and offers social influence as a theoretical framework for that exploration. HIV/AIDS is argued a fruitful context for exploring the interrelationships of everyday interpersonal communication and health. Reviewing literature on the various roles of everyday interpersonal interaction and HIV/AIDS helps to clarify the potentially powerful and often neglected influence of everyday interaction on health and provides road signs for future research and practice.


RATIONALE FOR EXPLORING EVERYDAY INTERPERSONAL
COMMUNICATION AND HEALTH

A cursory overview of the status of health communication scholarship identifies patterns of phenomena that researchers have addressed and neglected. Initial explorations yield glimpses of the role of everyday interpersonal communication and health, hinting at the possibilities.


Status of Health Communication Scholarship

Communication rapidly is becoming recognized as a significant factor in health care and promotion. Health communication has become a vital part of national public health efforts

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