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2006 - International Communication Association Pages: 31 pages || Words: 9241 words || 
1. Dunbar, Norah. and Abra, Gordon. "Self-Help Books on Relational Communication: Who’s Writing Them and What Advice Are They Giving?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Dresden International Congress Centre, Dresden, Germany, Jun 16, 2006 Online <PDF>. 2019-05-19 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: The self-help industry is rife with books offering advice in relational communication. Interpersonal communication experts should be concerned with the credibility of these self-help authors and what advice is dispensed. Study one of this paper involved an examination of the qualifications of 31 popular self-help authors in relational communication. The results revealed that although many authors had earned Ph.D.s, none had degrees in communication and most had not published any empirical research. Study two analyzed fourteen books for their content and the type of evidence used. Five common themes were revealed including using a banking analogy, dividing couples into types, elaborating on a series of steps for the strategies offered, referring to childhood as a cause for current relational problems, and offering exercises to implement the strategies offered. Most authors relied solely on anecdotal evidence for their claims. Implications for future research in the area of interpersonal communication are discussed.

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