Associate Professor

Andy Merolla studies the link between interpersonal communication and well-being. His current research analyzes the interrelationships between communication, emotion, and cognition in everyday interaction.


Andy’s research examines various communication processes, such as conflict management, interpersonal forgiveness, and relational maintenance. Using approaches such as experience sampling, his most current research analyzes how patterns of everyday talk (within "social biomes") are associated with social and emotional connection. Some of his recent research also explores the role of communication in constructing hope and the important role that hope plays in managing difficult life situations. Andy’s research can be found in journals such as Communication Monographs, Communication Research, Communication Theory, Human Communication Research, and the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. At UCSB, Andy teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in communication theory, conflict management, interpersonal communication, and nonverbal communication. In 2021, he received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the UCSB Academic Senate.


Select Recent Publications

Merolla, A. J., Neubauer, A. B., & Otmar, C. D. (in press). Responsiveness, social connection, hope, and life satisfaction in everyday social interaction: An experience sampling study. Journal of Happiness Studies

Murillo, R. M., Kam, J. A., & Merolla, A. J. (in press). Extending past theorizing on relational maintenance by exploring the lived experiences of separated Latina/o/x immigrant families. Human Communication Research.

Merolla, A. J., Otmar, C. D., & Salehuddin, A. S. (in press). Past relational experiences and social interaction: Direct, moderated, and mediated associations between relational difficulty, communication, and perception in two samples. Communication Research.

Otmar, C. D., & Merolla, A. J. (in press). Early relational exclusion and present-day minority stress, social anxiety, and coping responses among sexual minority men. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Afifi, T., Merolla, A. J., Afifi, W., Gonzales, C., Salehuddin, A., Salmon, J., & Wilson, V. (in press). Reciprocal relationship maintenance in marriage and its impact on communal orientation, relational load, and one’s ability to flourish. Human Communication Research.

Hall, J. A., Dominguez, J., Merolla, A. J., & Otmar, C. D. (2023). Social bandwidth: When and why are social interactions energy intensive? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 40, 2614-2636.

Hall, J. A., Pennington, N., & Merolla, A. J. (2023). What mediated social interactions satisfy the need to belong? Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 28, 1-12, zmac026.

Merolla, A. J., Hansia, A., Hall, J. A., & Zhang, S. (2022). Moments of connection for the disconnected: People with negative relations with others experience less, but benefit more from, positive everyday interaction. Communication Research49, 838-862.

Hansia, A., & Merolla, A. J. (2021). Intimate partner violence disclosure among Muslim-Americans: A survey study of disclosure likelihood to varying networks and the roles of relational context, religiosity, and marginalization. Journal of Applied Communication Research49, 609-631.

Hall, J. A., Mihailova, T., & Merolla, A. J. (2021). Typicality and volition as fundamental features of everyday relational communication. Personal Relationships, 28, 607-626.

Merolla, A. J., Otmar, C., & Ruvalcaba Hernandez, C. (2021). Day-to-day relational life during the COVID-19 pandemic: Linking mental health, daily relational experiences, and end-of-day outlook. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38, 1961-1986.

Merolla, A. J., Bernhold, Q., & Peterson, C. (2021). Pathways to connection: An intensive longitudinal examination of state and dispositional hope, day quality, and everyday interpersonal interaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships38, 1961-1986.

Hall, J. A., & Merolla, A. J. (2020). Connecting everyday talk and time alone to global well-being. Human Communication Research46, 86-111.

Kam, J., Merolla, A. J., & High, A. C. (2020). Latinx immigrant youth’s indirect and direct family-undocumented status disclosures in relation to received supportive communication and depressive symptoms. Communication Research, 47, 599-622.

Dominguez, J., Bowman, S., Hall, J., & Merolla, A. (2020). Working hard to make a good impression. The relational consequences of effortful self-presentation. Communication Research Reports, 37, 276-285

Merolla, A. J., Hall, J. A., & Bernhold, Q. (2019). Perseverative cognition, distracted communication, and well-being in everyday social interaction. Personal Relationships, 26, 507-528.

Merolla, A. J., & Kam, J. A. (2018). Parental hope communication and parent-adolescent constructive conflict management: A multilevel longitudinal analysis. Journal of Family Communication, 18, 32-50.

Kam, J. A., & Merolla, A. J. (2018). The influence of hope communication on documented and undocumented Latina/o high school students’ college intentions across an academic year. Communication Monographs85, 399-422.

Merolla, A. J., & Harman, J. L. (2018). Relationship-specific hope and constructive conflict management in adult romantic relationships: Testing an accommodation framework. Communication Research, 45, 339-364.


Ph.D. (2007), The Ohio State University, Communication