Andy Merolla

Associate Professor
Interpersonal Communication

Office Location

SSMS 4415


Interpersonal Communication, Relational Maintenance, and Conflict Management


Andy Merolla studies how people maintain social and personal relationships and overcome relational challenges through communication. Andy’s research examines topics such as conflict management, interpersonal forgiveness, long-distance relational maintenance, and individuals’ experiences following natural disasters. His most recent research explores the role of communication in constructing hope and the important role that hope plays in managing difficult situations in romantic and family relationships. Using approaches such as experience sampling, his current research is also analyzing the interplay of communication and cognition in everyday interaction within social networks ("social biomes").

Andy’s research can be found in journals, such as Communication ResearchCommunication TheoryJournal of Applied Communication Research, and Personal Relationships. He has also been quoted in articles appearing in various media outlets, such as the Wall Street JournalFiveThirtyEight, and The Atlantic. Currently, Andy is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

At UCSB, Andy teaches courses in communication theory, conflict management, interpersonal communication, and nonverbal communication.


Recent Publications:

Merolla, A. J., & Harman, J. L. (in press). Relationship-specific hope and constructive conflict management in adult romantic relationships: Testing an accommodation framework. Communication Research.

Kam, J. A., & Merolla, A. J. (in press). The influence of hope communication on documented and undocumented Latina/o high school students’ college intentions across an academic year. Communication Monographs.

Bernhold, Q., Dunbar, N. E., Merolla, A. J., & Giles, H. (in press). Face threats and facework during a hurtful conflict: Extending identity implications theory. Human Communication Research.

Merolla, A. J., & Kam, J. A. (2018). Parental hope communication and parent-adolescent constructive conflict management: A multilevel longitudinal analysis. Journal of Family Communication, 18, 32-50.

Merolla, A. J. (2017). A longitudinal analysis of financial loss, anxiety, destructive conflict, and relational maintenance. Personal Relationships, 24, 729-747.

Merolla, A. J., Zhang, S., McCullough, J. L., & Sun, S. (2017). How do you like your forgiveness? Communication style preferences and effects. Communication Studies, 68, 568-587. [Awarded the 2017 Article of the Year in the journal Communication Studies.]

Merolla, A. J., Beck, G., & Jones, A. (2017). Memorable messages as sources of hope. Communication Quarterly, 65, 456-480.

Merolla, A. J. (2017). Further testing hope’s role in constructive conflict communication. Communication Quarterly, 65, 481-501.

Kam, J. A., Marcoulides, K., & Merolla, A. J. (2017). Using an acculturation-stress-resilience framework to explore latent profiles of Latina/o early adolescent language brokers. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 27, 842-861.