Boston College University Libraries

Interpersonal Communication: Getting Started

This guide provides help finding articles, books, background information, tests & measures, and additional support for research on interpersonal communication.
Getting Started with Interpersonal Communication Research

Interpersonal communication takes many forms and occurs in many contexts.  In beginning your research, plan out what aspects of interpersonal communication you are interested in.

This will help guide both where to search and what kind of terms to use.

For example, think about:

  • Context: communication at work, in school, on a sports team, at a party, at home, etc.
  • Type of relationship: friendship, family (spouse, sibling, parent-child), romantic relationship, etc.
  • Form of communication: speech, nonverbal, writing, phone, IM, etc.
  • Purpose of communication: persuasion, conflict resolution, support, information gathering, etc.
  • Other influences: race, age, gender, culture, etc.  

Be as specific as possible in formulating your search terms, covering all aspects you're interested in, but be sure to use alternative/related terms as well. Then check out the Finding Articles and Finding Books sections of this guide.