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Jennifer Ohs, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Courses Taught

Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication, Public Speaking, Undergraduate Research Capstone, First Year Dialogue; Communication Research Methods (undergraduate and graduate), Health Communication (undergraduate and graduate), Social Networks (graduate)


Ph.D., Communication Arts and Sciences, Pennsylvania State University
M.A., Speech Communication, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Research Interests

Ohs's area of research specialization lies at the intersection of interpersonal and health communication, with a focus on aging and intergenerational communication. Her research program breaks into three interrelated subareas. First, a primary line of her research has focused on decision making in the contexts of medical decisions in older adulthood and end-of-life care decisions in families. Second, she is committed to interdisciplinary work examining personal health information management at different points in the adult lifespan. Finally, her work has advanced understanding of the role of communication in ageism across a variety of social contexts to promote healthy intergenerational communication

Publications and Media Placements

Journal Articles
Ohs, J.E., Trees, A.R., & Kurian, N. (2017). Problematic integration and family communication about decisions at the end of life. The Journal of Family Communication.

Trees, A.R., Ohs, J.E., & Murray, M.C. (2017). Family communication about end-of-life decisions and the enactment of the decision-maker role. Behavioral Sciences. 7(2), 36-48, doi:10.3390/bs7020036

Ohs, J.E., & Yamasaki, J. (2017).  Communication and successful aging: Challenging the dominant cultural narrative of decline. Communication Research Trends, 36(1), 4-41.

Trees, A.R. & Ohs, J.E. (2017). Making sense of family communication about and at the end-of-life: Family communication around end-of-life planning and decision making. Journal of Health Law and Policy, 10(1), 19-44.

Ohs, J.E. (2015).  Medical decisions in older age: Managing complexities,
uncertainties, and social relationships. In M. Brann (Ed.), Contemporary case studies in health communication: Theoretical & applied approaches, 2nd Ed. (pp.129-145). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

LeRouge, C.M., Tao, D., Ohs, J., Lach, H.W., Jupka, K., & Wray, R. (2014). Challenges and opportunities with empowering Baby Boomers for personal health information management using consumer health information technologies: An ecological perspective. AIMS Public Health, 1(3), 160-181. DOI: 10.3934/publichealth.2014.3.160

Ohs, J.E. (2013). Reaching acceptance: Problematic integration in health-care decisions at the latter end of the lifespan. Qualitative Communication Research, 2(4), 381-410.

 Ecological perspectives. In T. Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Health Communication (pp.381-383). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Honors and Awards

2017 Chauncey E. Finch Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring

Professional Organizations and Associations

National Communication Association

Community Work and Service

  • Psi Theta Honors Society Advisor
  • Diversity Educational Collaborative
  • Pre-Professional Health Committee on Evaluations