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K-State Today

July 24, 2012



Communication studies professor presents at International Work and Family Conference

By Sarah Riforgiate

Do you ever wonder why your partner can’t seem to go to bed unless the dishes are done? Or perhaps you simply don’t understand why you are the only one who takes out the garbage in your household. Issues about household tasks permeate and are a leading cause of conflict in both romantic and platonic household arrangements. Through better understanding how tasks are allocated and behavior patterns perpetuate, Sarah Riforgiate’s research hopes to find communication solutions to improve relationships.

Riforgiate presented her research substantiating a recent theory on how individuals allocate household tasks with co-authors Kendra Knight, Christopher Newport University, and Jess Alberts, Arizona State University, at the International Work and Family Research Network Conference. The conference included more than 800 interdisciplinary attendees, representing more than 30 countries, all focusing on work/life research.

Riforgiate’s presentation was "Dirt, Dishes and Discourse: Communication Contributions to the Division of Domestic Labor." During the presentation she discussed results substantiating the integrative theory of the division of domestic labor, or ITDDL, including why one household partner is more or less likely to complete a task and how patterns of behavior contribute to communication in terms of relational satisfaction, perceived equity, and conflict among same-sex roommates.

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