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Join us March 11, 2021

Mediators Helping "Voluntary" Families


Families are going through significant changes in the 21st century.

  • What do they look like?
  • What unique challenges do they present?
  • What new opportunities?
  • What does that mean for mediators as we work with these families?

Join us as we hear from Dawn Braithwaite about her research into “voluntary” families and how we as mediators can help people create, change, or end such family structures.


Dawn O. Braithwaite (Ph.D. University of Minnesota) is a Willa Cather Professor of Communication, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She studies how families interact to create, legitimize and change relationships, and rituals in close relationships, especially in step- and voluntary families. She has published six authored and co-edited books, including Engaging Theories in Interpersonal Communication (2nd ed.), Family Communication: Cohesion and Change (10th ed.) and over 125 articles and chapters. She was named a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association (2020) and received NCA’s Brommel Award for Family Communication. Dr. Braithwaite is a Past President of the Western States Communication Association (2000) and the National Communication Association (2010).


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