Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Mark P. Orbe

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Machiorlatti

Third Advisor

Dr. Leigh Ford

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study explored the potential effects of fatherlessness through the book, Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl, by Jonetta Rose Barras (2000). While examining the text, the author used an autoethnographical method to reflect on her own experiences in relation to the text. This autoethnography examined the potential effects of fatherlessness on women to help understand why they communicate and interact interpersonally in specific ways that may help or hinder them in their adult romantic relationships. Through dialectical theory, specific dialectical tensions were identified to be experienced in father-daughter as well as adult romantic relationships. The tensions that were found to be experienced in both father-daughter and adult romantic relationships were: autonomy-connection, hopefulness-hopelessness, blaming self-blaming other, novelty-predictability, and openness-closedness.

Included in

Communication Commons