Amanda Denes, PhD

Professor (PI)

Department of Communication

Research Overview

My primary area of specialization is interpersonal communication, with emphases in disclosure, identity, and sexuality. In particular, I am interested in how communication processes affect people’s physiological, psychological, and relational health. My previous research with colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara investigated these relationships in several studies. For example, in one study we found that when parents disclosed negative information about the parental relationship to their children, children’s salivary alpha-amylase levels (a hormone that has been linked to feelings of anxiety) were significantly higher. My research has also investigated the influence of communication on relational health in the context of sexual activity. In my research on pillow talk, I found that in contexts in which the hormone oxytocin is known to increase, individuals were more likely to disclose positive feelings to their partners, which was associated with relationship satisfaction. My future research goals involve further exploring the link between physiology and communication by investigating the relationship between disclosure, oxytocin, and biological stress and anxiety indicators. I also plan to further investigate the influence of communication in the context of sexual activity by experimentally investigating the relationship between pillow talk, relationship satisfaction, and physiological health outcomes over time.


Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara; Field of Study: Communication
M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara; Field of Study: Communication
B.A., Boston College; Field of Study: Communication

Recent/Selected Publications

Google Scholar

Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-6139
Mailing Address337 Mansfield Rd
Unit 1259
Storrs, CT 06269-1259