Shardé Davis, PhD

Associate Professor (PI)

Department of Communication

Research Overview

My primary area of specialization is interpersonal communication, with emphases in racial and gender identity, intra/intergroup dynamics, and supportive communication, as well as resistance, counter hegemony, and resilience. I blend post-positivist, feminist, and critical perspectives to conduct research that better captures under-represented perspectives and communication patterns. My specific line of research explores how Black women’s complex identities—and the power-laden social structures that shape them—influence the way they communicate with close others. These interests are represented in my new theory called, The Strong Black Woman Collective (SBWC; Davis, 2015). The theory explicates how Black women use their communication during group-level interactions with other Black women to collectively manage their marginal position in U.S. society. New research on the theory connects Black women’s culturally nuanced behavior to important outcomes such as self-reported mental health, well-being, stress and anxiety, relational closeness, and group solidarity and esteem. While my primary line of research focuses on communication among Black women groups, a secondary interest involves investigating communication behavior of other marginalized groups, like the elderly, people of color, financially-strained families, and divorcing couples. My prior work has used a variety of methods to address these inquiries, including blood draws to test cholesterol, saliva tests to analyze stress hormones like cortisol and alpha amylase, weekly diaries to examine daily stress and means of seeking and receiving support, as well as in-depth interviews to assess life stress and self-reported health.


2010 BA Communication and Feminist Studies, University of California Santa Barbara
2012 MA Communication, University of California Santa Barbara
2016 PhD Communication Studies (certificate in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies), University of Iowa

Recent/Selected Publications

Google Scholar

Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-4735
Mailing Address337 Mansfield Rd
Unit 1259
Storrs, CT 06269-1259