Education: 

  • Ph.D., Communication Studies, Arizona State University, 2007.  Dissertation Title:  Sibling types: The influence of genetic relatedness on adult sibling’ interactions
  • B.A., Human Communication, Magna Cum Laude, Arizona State University, 2001

Principal Research Interests

I am an active scholar in both interpersonal and family communication. In particular, I have done extensive work on step-, half-, and full sibling relationships. My current work examines sibling differences in affectionate displays, conflict management tactics, and relational quality as a function of sibling relational type. Overall, my research examines how communication processes influence, and are influenced by, various family structures.  

Nearly all of my collaborative research has been devoted to exploring socially important, but empirically neglected, areas of research, such as disability, stress and verbal aggression, communicative infidelity, and sexual communication.  I am currently collaborating with three scholars: Dr. Mark Hamilton, University of Connecticut, on a book chapter about affection and aggression in interpersonal relationships; Dr. Larry Frey, University of Colorado Boulder, in exploring how intimate communication, or lack thereof, affects romantic relationships; and Dr. Paul Mongeau, Arizona State University, in editing a manuscript about disability and dating to submit for publication.  


Research Area: 

  • Family communication
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Conflict management and negotiation
  • Gender studies
  • Social behavioral studies

Email: mtafoya@lasierra.edu
Phone: 951-785-2246
Web: drtafoya.com


AWARDS

  • Top Paper Award, National Communication Association, Communication and Social Cognition Division for Stress and personality as antecedents to verbal and physical aggression: Verbal collaboration and social distancing as compensatory strategies. (with Hamilton, M. A., Veksler, A. E., & Tafoya, M. A.). 2011
  • AAUP Teaching Excellence Award, University of Connecticut. 2010
  • Graduate Student Chancellors List. 2005-2007
  • Top Paper Award, National Communication Association, Interpersonal Division for Human affection exchange:  XIII:  Affectionate communication accelerates neuroendocrine stress recovery.  (with Floyd, K., Mikkelson, A. C., Tafoya, M. A., Farinelli, L., La Valley, A. G., Judd, J., Haynes, M. T., Davis, K. L., & Wilson, J. A.).  2005
  • Kelly Maxwell Outstanding Graduate Student Award. 2004-2005
  • Preparing Future Faculty Award. 2004-2005
  • National International Student Association Award. 2004

Representative Publications

Publications (by date)
  1. Miller, M. J. & Tafoya, M. A. (revise & resubmit). Examining the Influence of Having Children on Women’s and Men’s Attitudes toward Touch in Romantic Relationships. Communication Quarterly. 
  2. Tafoya, M. A. & Hamilton, M. A. (2012). Relational Dynamics and the Expression of Aggression and Comforting Between Siblings. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 31(1), 49-74.
  3. Hamilton, M. A. and Tafoya, M. A. (2012). Toward a Collective Framework on Verbal Aggression: Hierarchical and Antagonistic Processes. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 31 (1), 112-130.
  4. Tafoya, M. A. (2008). Affectionate exchange: The salient nature of affectionate communication. Interpersonal Acceptance, 2(2), 2-3. 
  5. Tafoya, M.A. (2008). Sibling types: The influence of genetic relatedness on sibling interactions, (Doctoral dissertation). Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. 
  6. Floyd, K., Mikkelson, A. C., Tafoya, M. A., Farinelli, L., La Valley, A. G., Judd, J., Davis, K. L., Haynes, M. T., & Wilson, J.  (2007). Human affection exchange:  XIV.  Relational affection predicts resting heart rate and free cortisol secretion during acute stress.  Behavioral Medicine, 32(4), 151-156.    
  7. Floyd, K., Mikkelson, A. C., Tafoya, M. A., Farinelli, L., La Valley, A. G., Judd, J., Haynes, M. T., Davis, K. L., & Wilson, J.  (2007). Human affection exchange:  XIII.  Affectionate communication accelerates neuroendocrine stress recovery.  Health Communication, 22(2), 123-132.  
  8. Tafoya, M. A. & Spitzberg, B. H. (2007).  Communicative Infidelity.  In B.H. Spitzberg & W. R. Cupach (Eds.).  The Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication (2nd ed.), pp.199-242.  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.  
  9. Sillars, A., Canary, D. J., & Tafoya, M. A.  (2003). Communication conflict and the quality of family relationships.  In A. L. Vangelisti (Ed.), Handbook of Family Communication.  Mahwah, NJ:  Erlbaum.  
Conference Proceedings
  1. Frey, L. R., & Tafoya, M. A. (2014, November). Pandora’s box: Sharing sexual fantasies in intimate relationships. Accepted at the National Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, Chicago, IL.
  2. Frey, L. R., & Tafoya, M. A. (2014, February). Bringing it out of the Bedroom: Understanding Sexual Communication across Contexts.  Accepted at the Western States Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, Anaheim, CA.
  3. Hamilton, M. A., Veksler, A., & Tafoya, M. A. (2013, November). Affection and Aggression in Personal Relationships: Bitter Antagonists or Strange Bedfellows? Accepted at National Communication Association, Interpersonal Communication Association, Washington, D.C.
  4. Hamilton, M. A., Tafoya, M. A., & Veksler, A. (2012, November). The Effects of Stress on Verbal Attitudes and Behavior: The Mediating Role of Deteriorated Self-concept and Temperament. Accepted at National Communication Association, Health Communication Association, Orlando, FL. 
  5. Tafoya, M. A. & Hamilton, M. A. (2011, November), New Directions in the Measurement of Affectionate Communication Accepted at the National Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, New Orleans, LA.  
  6. Hamilton, M. A., Tafoya, M. A. &. Veksler, A. (2011, November). Stress and Personality as Antecedents to Verbal and Physical Aggression: Verbal collaboration and social distancing as compensatory strategies. Top Paper to be presented at National Communication Association, Communication and Social Cognition Division, New Orleans, LA.  (Competitively selected).
  7. Hamilton, M. A., Tafoya, M. A. &. Veksler, A. (2011, May). The Contribution of Stress to Verbal and Physical Aggression: Testing a Personality Dynamics Model.  Presented to International Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, Boston, MA. (Competitively selected).
  8. Tafoya, M. A. (2010, November). Sibling Violence and Aggression: An Exploration of an Age Old Problem. Accepted to present at the National Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, San Diego, CA.  (Panel submission).
  9. Tafoya, M. A. & MacNeil, T. (2010, November). Sibling Conflict: Development of the Conflict Management Strategies Scale (CMSS). Presented to National Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, San Diego, CA. (Competitively selected).
  10. Tafoya, M. A. & Hamilton, M. A. (2010, November). Heterogeneity in Scales Measuring Sibling Relationships: Strength of Sibling Bond, Assertion of Power, and Verbal Aggressiveness as Hierarchical Latent Constructs. Presented to National Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, San Diego, CA. (Competitively selected).
  11. Lagoe, C. & Tafoya, M. A. (2010, November). Female Perpetration of Common Couple Violence. A Presented to National Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, San Diego, CA.  (Panel submission).
  12. Miller, M. & Tafoya, M. A. (2010, November). Examining the Role of Children and Type of Touch on Women’s and Men’s Perceptions of Physical Contact with Their Relational Partners. Presented to National Communication Association, Nonverbal Division, San Diego, CA.  (Panel submission).
  13. Tafoya, M. (2010, July). Human Affectionate Exchange Theory:  Exploring Affection as an Adaptive Behavior. Keynote Speaker for the International Congress on Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection (ISIPAR), Padua, Italy. (Keynote Speaker).
  14. Tafoya, M. A. & Hamilton, M. A. (2010, June).  A Relational Orienting Typology for Sibling Dyads: Biological Relatedness, Identity, and Parenting Practices as Predictors. Presented to International Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, Singapore. (Competitively selected).
  15. Tafoya, M. A. & MacNeil, T. C. (2010, March).  Adult Sibling Conflict Management: A Test of Two Theories. Presented to Western States Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, Anchorage, Alaska. (Competitively selected).
  16. Tafoya, M. A. & MacNeil, T. C. (2009, November).  Measuring Adult Siblings’ Negative Conflict Management Strategies: A Test of Two Scales. Presented to the National Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, Chicago, IL.  (Panel submission).
  17. Hamilton, M. A. & Tafoya, M. A. (2009, November).  Development of a Scale to Measure Relational Negativism and Optimism. Presented to the National Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, Chicago, IL.  (Panel submission).
  18. Canary, D. J., Stermetz, C., Tafoya, M. A. & Mikkelson, A. C. (2009, November).  Road rage as a communicative event:  Indentifying road rage communicative behaviors, their factor structure, validation analyses, and variation among types of aggressive people.  Presented to the National Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, Chicago, IL.  (Panel submission).
  19. Tafoya, M. A. (2008, July).  Sibling types: The influence of genetic relatedness on affectionate communication.  Presented to International Association for Relationship Research, Providence, RI. (Competitively selected).
  20. Tafoya, M. A. & Mongeau, P. A. (2008, July).  How a disability influences perceptions of first date goals:  Wheelchairs, activity levels, and sex differences.  Presented to International Association for Relationship Research, Providence, RI. (Competitively selected).
  21. Tafoya, M. A. (2008, July).  Human affectionate exchange theory:  Evidence of the benefits of communicating affection. Presented to International Society for Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection, Crete, Greece. (Competitively selected).
  22. Tafoya, M. A. (2008, July).  The influential role of genetic relatedness on siblings’ mutuality, criticism, and apathy. Presented to International Society for Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection, Crete, Greece. (Competitively selected).
  23. Tafoya, M. A. & Mongeau, P. A. (2007, November).  How a wheelchair influences initial interaction.  Presented to National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.  (Panel submission).
  24. Tafoya, M. A.  (2007, November).  Methods for Studying Emotion in Interpersonal Communication.  Presented to National Communication Association, Chicago, IL. (Panel submission).  
  25. Tafoya, M. A. (2007, February).  The dark side of sibling interactions:  Aggression and conflict.  Presented to Western States Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, Seattle, WA. (Competitively selected).
  26. Tafoya, M. A. (2006, November).  Children’s sibling relationships:  Further considerations of positive and negative displays.  Presented to National Communication Association, San Antonio, TX.  (Scholar to Scholar session).
  27. Floyd, K., Mikkelson, A. C., Tafoya, M. A., Farinelli, L., La Valley, A. G., Judd, J., Davis, K. L., Haynes, M. T., & Wilson, J.  (2006, February).  Human affection exchange:  XIV.  Relational affection predicts resting heart rate and free cortisol secretion during acute stress.  Presented to Western States Communication Association, Palm Springs, CA. (Competitively selected).
  28. Mongeau, P. A., Williams, J., & Tafoya, M. A. (2006, February).  Challenges facing people with disabilities in initiating romantic relationships:  Establishing an agenda. Presented to Western States Communication Association, Palm Springs, CA. (Panel submission).
  29. Canary, D. J. & Tafoya, M. A. (2005, November).  Road rage as an interpersonal communicative event.  Presented to National Communication Association, Boston, MA.  (Panel submission).
  30. Floyd, K., Mikkelson, A. C., Tafoya, M. A., Farinelli, L., La Valley, A. G., Judd, J., Haynes, M. T., Davis, K. L., & Wilson, J. A. (2005, November).  Human affection exchange:  XIII:  Affectionate communication accelerates neuroendocrine stress recovery.  Top Paper to be presented at National Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, Boston, MA. (Competitively selected). 
  31. Spitzberg, B. H. & Tafoya, M. A.  (2005, November).  Communicative infidelity:  Exploring extradyadic sexual activity as a message strategy.  Presented to National Communication Association Interpersonal Division, Chicago, IL. (Competitively selected).
  32. Spitzberg, B. H. & Tafoya, M. A. (2005, May).  Further explorations in communicative infidelity: Jealousy, sociosexuality, and vengefulness.  Presented to International Communication Association, Interpersonal Division, NY. (Competitively selected).  
  33. Bates, C., Tafoya, M. A., & Wilson, E.  (2005, February).  Interactive management as an adaptive strategy in facilitation workshops.  Presented to Western States Communication Association, San Francisco, CA. (Panel submission). 
  34. Bates, C., Tafoya, M. A., & Wilson, E.  (2004, November).  Reflections: An interactive approach to identifying and understanding the challenges in fostering a learning community that values and promotes diversity.  Presented to National Communication Association, Chicago, IL. (Competitively selected).
  35. Tafoya, M.  (2004, February).  Aggression, jealousy and integrative behaviors with sibling relationships.  Presented to Western States Communication Association, Albuquerque, NM. (Competitively selected).
  36. Roundtable discussion.  Floyd, K., & Tafoya, M.  (2003, November).  Stepfamily dyads in evolutionary perspective.  Presented to Western States Communication Association, Miami, FL
  37. Tafoya, M.  (2003, February).  Relationships are about giving and giving is about relationships:  A demonstration of relational giving in Mexico through three relationships.  Presented to Western States Communication Association, Salt Lake City, UT. (Competitively selected).
  38. Erickson, E. L., Canary, D. J., Tafoya, M. A., & Bachman, G. F. (2002, November).  An observational analysis of attachment styles, partner behavior, and conflict interaction. Presented to National Communication Association, New Orleans, LA. (Competitively selected).