How family members talk and act with each other says a lot about how well they function as a family. When it comes to communication, most families could use a little help to improve their skills. For stepfamilies, the need for effective communication is big. So are the challenges. At the Pennsylvania State University, researcher Tamara Golish, Ph.D. got curious about what people in stepfamilies talk about and how stepfamilies talk to each other. She wondered if communication in strong, well-functioning stepfamilies is different than communication in stepfamilies that weren’t doing so well.