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Deborah Ballard-Reisch, Ph.D.

*Professor Emerita, School of Public Health

Ph.D. in Interpersonal and Public Communication, Bowling Green University, 1982

Research Interests:

Applied public health communication research in areas including behavior change, risk and crisis communication, and public health preparedness, marital commitment, relationship maintenance and marital satisfaction (in U.S. American, Russian and Tatar couples); families coping with cancer, client/provider interaction in health, women's health in Russia, perceptions of femininity and masculinity (in U.S. American, Russian and Tatar cultures); narrative theory and the social sciences. I use both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Recent Publications


Special Section Editor with Dan Weigel: Special Double Issue of The Journal of Family Communication (2004) 4(3&4) on “Advancing Family Communication Theory and Research: Innovative Methods for Studying Family Communication”

Editor, Special Issue of Women and Language (Spring 2003) 26(1) on “Global Issues and Feminism”


Ballard-Reisch, D.S., & Weigel, D. J. (2006). Established and promising models of family communication research. In L.H. Turner and R.West (Eds.). The Family Communication Sourcebook. (pp. 61-82). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Weigel, D.J., Bennett, K.K., & Ballard-Reisch, D.S. (September, 2006). Roles and influence in marriage: Both spouses’ perceptions contribute to marital commitment. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 35 (1), 74-92.

Weigel, D.J., Bennett, K.K., & Ballard-Reisch, D.S. (January, 2006). Influence strategies in marriage: Links between strategy use, equity, marital satisfaction and commitment. Journal of Family Communication, 6 (1), 77-95.

Clements-Nolle, K., Ballard-Reisch, D.S., Todd, R. & Jenkins, T. (May/June, 2005 Supplement #1). Findings from Nevada’s academic-practice collaboration: Possibilities outside an academic center for public health preparedness. Public Health Reports: Journal of the U.S. Public Health Service. 120, 100-108.

Ballard-Reisch, D.S. & Weigel, D.J. (July, 2004). Innovative methods for studying family communication. Journal of Family Communication, 4 (3/4), 261- 265.

Perry, L.A.M. & Ballard-Reisch, D.S. (2004) There's a Rainbow in my Closet: On the Importance of Creating a Broader Language in Sex and Gender In P.M. Backlund and M.R. Williams (Eds.). Readings in Gender Communication (with InfoTrac). 1st Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Weigel, D. J., Bennett, K.K. & Ballard-Reisch, D.S. (2003). Family influences on commitment: Examining the family of origin correlates of relationship commitment attitudes. Personal Relationships, 10, 453-474.

Ballard-Reisch, D.S. & Letner, J.A. (June, 2003) Centering families in cancer communication research: Acknowledging the impact of support, culture and process on client/provider communication in cancer management. Patient Education and Counseling, 2074, 1-6.

Ballard-Reisch, D.S., Zaguidoulline, M. & Weigel, D. (2003). Maintaining marriages in Russia: Managing social influences and communication dynamics. In D.J. Canary and M. Dainton (Eds.). Maintaining Relationships Through Communication. (pp. 255-276). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Publishers.

Weigel, D.J., and Ballard-Reisch, D.S. (June 1, 2002). Investigating the behavioral indicators of relational commitment. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Vol. 19 (3), 403-423

Ballard-Reisch, D.S., Turner, P. & Sarratea, M. (Fall, 2001) The paradox of women in Zimbabwe: Emancipation, liberation, and traditional African values. Women and Language. 24(2), 65-71.

Weigel, D. J., & Ballard-Reisch, D.S. (2001). The impact of maintenance behaviors on marital satisfaction: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Family Communication, 1, 265-279.

Work in Progress:

Ballard-Reisch, D.S., Clements-Nolle, K., Jenkins, T., Sacks, T., Pruitt, K. & Leathers, K. (In press, expected publication date 2006). Applying the Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) Integrative Model to Bioterrorism Preparedness: A Nevada Case Study. In M. Seeger and T. Sellnow (Eds.). Crisis Communication and Public Health. Hampton Press.

Special Areas of Interest:

In the past five years, I have focused on applied public health communication research emphasizing the importance of strategic communication to bioterrorism response/public health preparedness, and to the promotion of health behavior change and strategic communication to promote program use in at-risk populations for Nevada’s statewide utility service provider. Additionally, I have continued to focus on, in collaboration with Dan Weigel and others, communication factors impacting relational commitment, particularly marital quality and relational maintenance behaviors and family communication research methodology. Our inquiry also includes conceptualizations of commitment and comparisons of perceptions of commitment in U.S. and Russian/Tatar marriages.

I am also active as an international judicial educator. I have taught judges from over 15 countries in the U.S. and abroad country based programs in Canada, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Mongolia, Russia, Zimbabwe. In addition, in 2001, I spent 6 weeks in the Tatarstan Republic of Russia working with collaborators to conduct over 1000 interviews with women about their health needs and status. We are hoping that this will be the first step in developing a comprehensive Women's Health Initiative for the region. The Tatarstan region and the city of Kazan specifically was my home during my Fulbright Fellowship in 1996-1997. In collaboration with a team of university and community leaders, we are developing the initiative from the ground up, consistent with the goals of the Tatarstan Legislature.

Contact Info:

You can e-mail Dr. Ballard-Reisch at dballard@unr.nevada.edu


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