Helen Lillie

Assistant Professor

Dr. Helen M. Lillie studies heath and interpersonal communication. Her primary research areas include (a) how resilience is built via communication with close others and (b) how narratives can educate and persuade the public about illness prevention. She is interested in connections between narratives, emotion, topic avoidance, and resilience communication. 

Dr. Lillie’s research is situated in hardship contexts like cancer, caregiving, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of her recent work examines associations between resilience communication, relational uncertainty, and topic avoidance and their subsequent effects on relational health and coping. She also investigates narrative processing and how to create narratives that encourage healthy behaviors such as sunscreen use, reduced alcohol consumption, and vaccination – drawing from both persuasion and interpersonal communication theory to build better narratives. She focuses primarily on emotion as a mechanism of persuasion and on encouraging critical reflection to promote informed health decision making.

Research areas
  • Interpersonal Communication & Relationships

121 Becker Communication Studies Building (BCSB)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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