Affectionate communication between fathers and young adult sons: Individual-and relational-level correlates

Mark T. Morman, Kory Floyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Men's relationships with their fathers may be among the most important and influential same-sex relationships they form in the life course. Although several studies have examined issues such as aggressiveness, conflict, and dysfunction between fathers and adult sons, far less attention has been paid to more positive communication behaviors in such relationships. The present study examines the individual- and relational-level correlates of affectionate behavior in adult paternal relationships, using data from 55 pairs of fathers and their young adult biological sons. As predicted by the gendered closeness perspective, results indicated that fathers and sons communicate affection more through the provision of social support than through direct verbal or nonverbal expressions. Furthermore, results found that fathers are more affectionate toward young adult sons than sons are toward fathers. Affection was largely associated with psychological femininity and the endorsement of father-son affection as an appropriate behavior. Affection was also associated with relational closeness, self-disclosure, and communication satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-309
Number of pages16
JournalCommunication Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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