Family, Media, Culture, and Communication Researcher

An experienced researcher, Dr. Hatfield's work addresses how cultural depictions of family life impact our understanding of the world. Since earning her PhD in Communication and Media Studies at Texas A&M University, she has worked at the University of Houston - Downtown with a focus on Interpersonal Communication. She regularly teaches interpersonal communication, family communication, communication and intimacy, intercultural communication, and women, men, and communication.  In 2018, Dr. Hatfield received the University of Houston-Downtown's Excellence in Teaching Award. 

Her passion is understanding our media environment as an influence on family communication, including topics such as work/life balance, gender roles and identity, and children's media use.  She strives to bridge the gap between the research done by academics, and families who can benefit from their results.  Her recent work, Communication and the Work-Life Balancing Act, brings together scholars from communication, sociology, and psychology to share current scholarship on the popular topic of work-life balance.

Dr. Hatfield is available to speak in the Houston area on topics such as: 

Family Life
  • Work/life balance
  • Best practices for creating a family culture
  • Communication in blended families
  • Men, women and communication

Media and Culture

  • Best practices for children's media use
  • Best practices for parents' media use
  • Improving family communication
  • Facing tween media dilemmas
  • Protecting our children online
  • Gender in the media | 713.320.2137