Coffee Hour: Relational, Cognitive, and Communicative Implications of Relating at a Distance

Friday, December 4, 2015 - 3:30pm
Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m. The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.

About the talk

Common sense, as well as fundamental theories of interpersonal communication, has often led to the prediction that long-distance romantic relationships should be unsatisfying and unstable. In this presentation, Stafford summarizes a series of investigations of long-distance dating partners that challenge this assumption. She will discuss the associations between romantic idealization, communication, and relational stability. She proposes that, for many long-distance couples, a lack of communication and positive cognitions can do much to maintain close (intimate) romantic relationships. In addition, she presents findings regarding the transition from a being long-distance to becoming a proximal couple. In applying her findings, Stafford points out that although most individuals desire to know how to maintain their long-distance relationships, she contends this should not be the question long-distance dating partners should be primarily concerned with.

About the speaker

Laura StaffordLaura Stafford (Ph.D., University of Texas) is a professor of communication and the director of the School of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University. Her teaching and research interests are in interpersonal communication. More specifically, she has focused on relational maintenance and long-distance relationships. She is a past chair of the Interpersonal Divisions of both the National Communication Association and the International Communication Association. She is also a past editor of the Journal of Applied Communication Research and an associate editor of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Angela Rogers in advance of your participation or visit.

Angela Rogers   office: 814-863-4562  email:

Coffee Hour