Texas Tech University

Experts Available to Discuss Holiday Coping Mechanisms

McKenzi Morris

November 13, 2019

With the holidays can come stress, anxiety and difficult conversations with family members.

As the holiday season approaches, some people will visit friends and family they might not interact with much throughout the year. For some, this means being around extended family and becoming part of conversations that cause stress and anxiety.

Experts at Texas Tech University are available to discuss how to better communicate with family members and manage stress during the holiday season.


Parental communicationJenna LaFreniere, assistant professor of communication studies, (806) 834-2808 or jenna.lafreniere@ttu.edu

  • LaFreniere has a wide range of experience in family communication, specifically inter-parental conflict, divorce and young adults. She previously has examined parental conflict and feeling caught between parents in relation to young adult children's mental well-being, parents' conflict and young adult children's emotion regulation with a focus on divorce and post-divorce communication.

Family communicationNarissra Punyanunt-Carter, associate professor of communication studies and assistant dean of international affairs, (806) 834-3273 or n.punyanunt@ttu.edu

  • Punyanunt-Carter can discuss family and interpersonal communication, especially how gender and age factor into children and emerging adults' communication with their parents. She also has studied emerging adults' perceptions of divorce, marriage and religion when coming from divorced and non-divorced families.

Stress managementAmanda Wheeler, assistant director and coordinator of outreach services at the Texas Tech Student Counseling Center, (806) 742-3674 or amanda.wheeler@ttu.edu

  • A licensed psychologist, Wheeler can discuss tips to manage stress and anxiety when around family and throughout the holidays. Her focus is on the interpersonal-process approach to therapy.