Jennifer Ohs, Ph.D.
Associate Professor; Graduate Program Coordinator
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
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
Yamasaki, J., & Ohs, J.E. (forthcoming). Aging in a computer mediated community: The importance of online connections for older adults. In K. Wright & N. Egbert (Eds.), Social Support and Health in the Digital Divide. Lexington Books.
Ohs, J.E. (2019). Healthy mother, healthy baby: An authoethnography to challenge the dominant cultural narrative of the birthing patient. In P.M. Kellett (Ed.), Narrating patienthood: Engaging diverse voices on health, communication, and the patient experience. (pp. 227-257) Lexington Press.
Seale, D. E., LeRouge, C.M., Ohs, J.E., Tao, D., Lach, H., Jupka, K., & Wray, R. (2019) Exploring baby boomers' approach to managing their health and healthcare. International Journal of E-Health and Medical Communications, 10(1) 94-117. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4018/IJEHMC.20190101
Ju, I., Park, T., & Ohs, J.E. (2018). Consumer engagement with prescription medicine decisions: Influences of health beliefs and health information sources. Health Communication. 1-11. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2018.1545336
Wallace, C. Khoo, Y.M., & Hinyard, L., Ohs, J.E. Cruz-Oliver, D.M. (2018). The impact of personal and professional loss on advance care planning and effective care delivery for healthcare social workers. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 1-11. DOI:10.1177/1044389418803450
Wallace, C., Cruz Oliver, D., Ohs, J. E., & Hinyard, L. (2018). Connecting personal experiences of loss and professional practices in advance care planning and end-of-life care: A survey of providers. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 35(11), 1369-1376. DOI: 10.1177/1049909118783736Ohs, 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.
Honors and Awards
2017 Chauncey E. Finch Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring
Professional Organizations and Associations
National Communication Association
Community Work and Service
- Diversity Educational Collaborative
- Pre-Professional Health Committee on Evaluations