Why We Stop Talking to Our Family Members

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More than a quarter of Americans are estranged from a close family member, new research from Cornell University finds. The reasons for breaking off contact are familiar: divides over money, values and parental divorce, along with tension from parenting choices or in-law relationships. We’ll talk about the nuances of the phenomenon, including U.S. cultural individualism, the nuclear family’s decline, and the traditions of chosen family within LGBTQ+ communities. And, of course, we want to hear your stories about navigating deep rifts within your own family.


Karl Pillemer, professor, Weill Cornell Medicine; author, "Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them"

Kristina Scharp, associate professor, University of Washington; director, University of Washington Family Communication and Relationships Lab

Aretha Hampton, licensed clinical social worker, Roots Consultation Services