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Dr. Aimee Miller-Ott

Interim Director of the School of Communication & Professor
School of Communication
Fell Hall - FEL 408
  • About
  • Education
  • Awards & Honors
  • Research

Current Courses

325Theory And Research In Interpersonal Communication

Teaching Interests & Areas

Relational/Interpersonal Communication, Family Communication, Interpersonal/Family Communication and Aging, Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication, Mobile Technology in Relationships

Research Interests & Areas

The negotiation of cell phone communication in personal relationships; the presentation and negotiation of identity in interpersonal relationships. I have studied these interests in a variety of contexts (e.g., romantic relationships, friendships, post-divorce relationships, foster families, parent-child relationships, women’s peer relationships), through different theories (e.g., Facework Theory, Politeness Theory, Communication Privacy Management Theory).

Ph D Interpersonal and Family Communication/Instructional Communication

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

MA Interpersonal Communication

California State University

BS Speech Communication

Northern Arizona University

Outstanding College Researcher in Humanities Award

Illinois State University College of Arts and Sciences

Dawn O. Braithwaite Qualitative Research Award

Central States Communication Association

University Outstanding Teacher Award

Illinois State University

College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award


Jamie Comstock Award

School of Communication

Humanities Center Faculty Fellow

“Seeking Love after Divorce” for “Love and Desire” Humanities Seminar

Excellence in Teaching Award

National Society of Leadership and Success, University of Hartford

Book, Authored

Houston, D., Gjesfjeld, C., Miller-Ott, C., Gholson, T., Schaeffer, L., & Brown, M. (2016). Higher Education as the Lifeline to Social Mobility for Former Foster Youth: A Comprehensive Needs and Assets Assessment. Normal, IL: Center for Child Welfare and Adoption Studies.

Book, Chapter

Hunt, S. K., Miller-Ott, A., E., & Patel, V. (2022). A roadmap to career success: Pursuing careers outside of the academy for MA graduates. In B. Bach, D. O. Braithwaite, & S. Ganesh (Eds.), By Degrees: Resilience, Relationships, and Success in Communication Graduate Studies. Cognella
Miller-Ott, A. E., & Alvarez, C. *(2022). Face theory: The ongoing performances of our lives. In D. O. Braithwaite & P. Schrodt (Eds.), Engaging Theories in Interpersonal Communication (3rd edition). Routledge.
Miller-Ott, A. E. & Kelly, L. (2019). Connection or intrusion? Mother-daughter communication through technology. For M. Miller-Day & A. Alford (Eds.), Constructing Motherhood and Daughterhood Across the Lifespan. Peter Lang. doi:10.3726/b10841
Miller-Ott, A. E. (2019). “We talk like friends versus she’s just my mom:” Openness and closeness in the mother/married daughter relationship. For M. Miller-Day & A. Alford (Eds.), Constructing Motherhood and Daughterhood Across the Lifespan. Peter Lang. doi:10.3726/b10841
Miller-Ott, A.E. (2019). My mom has been gone for a while, but she’s still alive…” Communicating as a child of a parent with Alzheimer’s disease. In S. Symonds-LeBlanc (Ed.), Casing the family: Theoretical and applied approaches to understanding family communication. Kendall Hunt.

Book, Edited

Lippert, L., Hall, R.D., Miller-Ott, A. E., & Davis, D. (Eds.) (2019). Communicating Mental Health: History, Concepts, & Perspectives. Lexington Books.

Journal Article

Avant, D., Miller-Ott, A. E. & Houston, D. (2021). “I needed to aim higher:” Former foster youths’ pathways to college success. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 30(4), 1043-1058.
Miller-Ott, A. E., & Hopper, K. M. (2021). “She’s truly just the oven for us:” Discourse dependency in families of children born through a surrogate. Western Journal of Communication. Advance online publication.
Miller-Ott, A. E. (2020). “Just a heads up, my father has Alzheimer’s:” Changes in communication and identity of adult children of parents with Alzheimer’s Disease. Health Communication, 35, 119-126. doi:10.1080/10410236.2018.1547676
Hall, R. D.,* & Miller-Ott, A.E. (2019). Invisible pain: A look at women’s (non)disclosure of fibromyalgia in the workplace. Ohio Communication Journal, 51(2), 223-257. Retrieved from
Kelly, L., Miller-Ott, A. E., & Duran, R. L. (2019). Phubbing friends: Understanding face threats from, and responses to, friends’ cell phone usage through the lens of politeness theory. Communication Quarterly, 67(5), 540-559. doi:10.1080/01463373.2019.1668443


Relationships among fear of negative evaluation, social media anxiety, and posting content and motivations on Instagram. National Communicaiton Association. (2023)
“This is muddier than I thought it would be:” Parents’ sense-making of their role in young daughters’ social media use.. International Communication Association Annual Meeting. (2023)
Understanding proximal discourses in residential facility care providers’ communication with family members of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. National Communication Association. (2023)
Miller-Ott, A. E., & Kelly, L. (2023). “Never answer strangers, never message people I don’t know:” College women’s recollections of parental mediation when first joining social media. Submitted for possible presentation to the Interpersonal and Family Communication Interest Group, St. Louis, MO.
Family Communication and Alzheimer’s Disease. Senior Care Network monthly meeting. (2022)
"“I just like to share my life with my partner:” Mobile phone integration in romantic partners’ face-to-face interactions”. National Communication Association. (2022)
Alvarez, C. & Miller-Ott, A. E. (2021, November). The polite abuser: Using politeness theory to examine emotional abuse. Paper presented to the Interpersonal Communication Division of the National Communication Association, Seattle, WA
DeWeert, L. J., & Miller-Ott, A. E. (2021, November). Physical disability in romantic relationships: Exploring how women with visible physical disabilities navigate conversations about their identity with male romantic partners. Paper presented to the Disability Issues Caucus, Interpersonal Communication Division, and Women's Caucus (co-sponsors), Seattle, WA.
Keaten, J., Kelly, L., & Miller-Ott, A. E. (2021, November). The impact of shyness and fear of negative evaluation on likelihood of and factors associated with posting on Instagram. Paper presented to the Human Communication and Technology Division of the National Communication Association, Seattle, WA.
Miller-Ott, A. E. (2021, November). (Panelist). Transforming applied qualitative research in the time of COVID-19: Lessons taught, lessons learned. Panel accepted for presentation to the Applied Communication Division, National Communication Association, Seattle, WA

Grants & Contracts

Faculty Research Award (FRA): Parent-Teenage Daughter Communication about Social Media Usage. University Research Grant. Illinois State University. (2021)
Experiences of Biological Children in Foster Families. CAS URG. Illinois State University. (2018)
Dark Side of Cell Phones in Romantic Relationships. CAS URG. Illinois State University. (2016)
Voluntary Parents’ Fund Grant. University of Hartford. State. (2012)
Coffin Grant. University of Hartford. State. (2011)