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Health and Illness in Close Relationships

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Duggan, A. (2019).  Health and Illness in Close Relationships. Book published in Advances in Personal Relationships series.  Cambridge University Press. 

Book Award: Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Book Award for a monograph, awarded 2022 by the Interpersonal Communication Division of the National Communication Association.

Duggan’s book provides a cohesive understanding of the current empirical and theoretical literature on health and illness in close relationships.  To that end, she synthesizes empirical evidence and associated theoretical constructs from the literature on health/illness in close relationships.  By outlining and comparing foundational assumptions of research on relational processes and research on health and illness, she provides a cohesive, cross-disciplinary understanding of relevant theoretical and empirical issues and why health/illness provides a unique context for understanding close relationships. 


In the book she also proposes and maps out an integrated theory of health/illness trajectories and relational processes.  The integrated theory includes interconnections of individual factors, dyadic factors, turning points in diagnosis, management and treatment of illness, turning points in relationships, and the societal, economic, and cultural factors within which the relationships are embedded.  She describes communicative processes through which health/illness trajectories and relational processes are co-produced, co-generative, and inherently systematic. Duggan outlines how the integrated theoretical processes pose considerations for the vulnerability of illness as a relational virtue and resilience or as a catalyst for relational decline.


Advances in Personal Relationships:  Sponsored by the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR), the Cambridge University Press Advances in Personal Relationships series offers cutting edge research and theory.  Contributing authors are internationally known scholars from a variety of disciplines including social psychology, clinical psychology, communication, history, sociology, gerontology, and family studies.  Volumes are intended to integrate large-scale conceptual understanding and develop major theoretical works

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