Date of Completion


Embargo Period



relationships, resilience, stress, weight-loss, salivary cortisol, theory of resilience and relational load

Major Advisor

Amanda Denes

Associate Advisor

John Christensen

Associate Advisor

Mark Hamilton

Field of Study

Communication Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Obesity is one of the greatest health challenges in the world today. As such, there is a large focus on weight-loss in order to improve health outcomes for those who are overweight or obese. One area that has an impact on obesity and weight-loss is communication. Communication behaviors are directly tied to health outcomes. Positive, constructive communication can help to improve health directly by improving physiological outcomes, including stress, which is in itself a factor co-morbid with obesity. Communication also helps to build and strengthen relationships, which in turn often lead to better health outcomes. Conversely, negative and destructive communication can lead to poor health outcomes and negatively impact relationships. Therefore, it is important to examine communication behaviors and how they impact stress and weight-loss in order to be able to better understand and prevent obesity. This study used a community sample to look at relational factors, communication behaviors, stress reactance, and weight-loss over the course of a yearlong intervention. Results indicated overall support for the TRRL in the context of weight-loss. There was some evidence that communication behaviors were related to physiological outcomes.