Steven Wilson

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies



Office: CIS 3048


Steven R. Wilson (PhD, Purdue University) is a Professor in the Department of Communication and an affiliated scientist with the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University.

Steve’s research focuses on processes of influence and identity management in family, health, and workplace contexts. He is the author of Seeking and Resisting Compliance: Why Individuals Say What They Do When Trying to Influence Others (Sage, 2002), co-editor of New Directions in Interpersonal Communication Research (Sage, 2010), as well Reflections on Interpersonal Communication Research (Cognella, 2019, both with Sandi Smith), and author of over 100 scholarly articles and book chapters on these topics. His current research explores how military families navigate difficult conversations and enact resilience when service members return from deployment or separate from the military, how media frame military/civilian divides, and how families in the U.S. navigate challenging conversations and create resilience following COVID-related disruptions such as job loss or political disagreements. He is a fellow of the International Communication Association (ICA), and recipient of the ICA B. Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award as well as the National Communication Association’s Bernard Brommel Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Family Communication and Mark L. Knapp Award for career contributions to the study of Interpersonal Communication. Along with Yariv Tsfati (University of Haifa, Israel), Steve currently serves as co-Editor in Chief of the ICA journal Human Communication Research.

Before coming to USF, Steve served on the faculty at Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, and Purdue Universities.


Interpersonal communication, difficult conversations, military and veteran families, conflict and negotiation, resilience

RESEARCH clusters

Health Communication; Interpersonal and Relational Communication