John P. Caughlin

Acting Head, Professor of Communication

  • Address: Department of Communication, 3001 Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright St. Urbana, IL 61801
  • Telephone: 217-333-4340

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • interpersonal communication, health & relationships, technology & relationships


Research Description

  • Professor Caughlin studies interpersonal communication in close relationships, such as marriages and families. Many of his studies examine the avoidance of communication. Although popular culture and many scholars have a strong bias against avoidant communication (and in favor of being open), Caughlin’s work calls this assumption into question by showing that avoidance is commonplace and often has no apparently negative consequences. Just about all families—even very happy ones— have at least one secret, for instance.

    Recent research has also examined the role of communication technologies in close relationships. 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.

    For a list of his publications, please click on his vita.


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

Distinctions / Awards

  • NCA Bernard J. Brommel Award, 2009
  • Conrad Humanities Scholar, College of LAS, 2009-2014
  • Arnold Beckman Research Award, UI Research Board, 2009
  • IARR Miller Award for Early Career Achievement, 2004
  • Franklin H. Knower Article Award, 2003