“Love Needs to Be Exchanged”: A Diary Study of Interaction and Enactment of the Family Kinkeeper Role

Dawn O. Braithwaite, Jaclyn S. Marsh, Carol L. Tschampl-Diesing, Margaret S. Leach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Family kinkeepers enact an important role centered on interaction and maintaining family relationships. The researchers studied kinkeeping communication in light of mediated communication, topics engaged, and kinkeepers’ assessments. Thirty-four self-identified kinkeepers kept an interaction diary over 2 weeks. Their 275 reports represented 1,487 interactions using largely mediated communication channels (text, telephone, e-mail, social media), centered on everyday activities, rituals, and health and safety. Despite potential complications of the role, kinkeepers reported high agreement and openness with family members, little conflict, and overall satisfaction with their interactions. Implications of these findings, new directions for researchers, and the important mediated role of family kinkeeping are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-618
Number of pages18
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 20 2017



  • Family Communication
  • Family Relationship Maintenance
  • Interaction Diary
  • Kinkeeper

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication

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