Personal profile

Research Interests

interpersonal communication, health & relationships, technology & relationships

Professional Information

Professor Caughlin studies the connections between interpersonal communication and personal and relational well-being. He is interested in understanding how people successfully manage challenges in their relationships, ranging from the inevitable conflicts they encounter to health issues experienced by one or both partners. A theme that runs through much of this research suggests that effective communicators are strategic about what they say, how theysay it, and what they do NOT say. Understanding how communication contributes to (or undermines) well-being involves taking into account a number of factors including multiple people’s perspectives and the context.

Professor Caughlin is also interested in understanding why some people and relationships seem to benefit when their communication becomes technologically mediated (e.g., throughsocial media, texting), whereas other relationships seem to be harmed by the introduction of the same technologies. He is particularly interested in how different modes of communication are used in ways that either facilitate or interfere with better communication.His work on the communication interdependence perspective of mediated communication suggests that being able to make different modes of communication work well together is an important part of contemporary relational closeness.


Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1997
M.A., University of Kentucky, 1992
B.A., University of Illinois, 1991

Honors & Awards

Fellow, International Communication Association, elected 2019
Fellow, International Association for Relationship Research, elected 2016
NCA Bernard J. Brommel Award, 2009
Arnold Beckman Research Award, UI Research Board, 2009
IARR Miller Award for Early Career Achievement, 2004

Office Address

702 S. Wright St.
3001 Lincoln Hall
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Phone


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