Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Family Sciences (MSFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Nathan D. Wood

Second Advisor

Dr. Kristen H. Perry


Families and couples were challenged with stresses unlike any other as individuals faced adversities from lockdowns, as well as fears derived from the coronavirus. During the pandemic, trends of webcomics became more popular, particularly comics that depicted characters in romantic relationships dealing with “the new normal.” In this project, I suggest that social media webcomics incorporated topics of coping. The purpose of this study was to examine webcomics that documented daily life situations during lockdowns and stress-buffering skills found in couples’ interactions when dealing with concerns. Utilizing Braun and Clarke’s (2006) thematic analysis, 585 romantic relationship webcomics posted from March 2020 to December 2021 were analyzed through Walsh’s (2003) theoretical framework of family resilience. Walsh’s (2003) nine themes used for coding included: 1) make meaning of adversity, 2) positive outlook, 3) transcendence and spirituality, 4) flexibility, 5) connectedness, 6) social and economic resources, 7) clarity, 8) open emotional expression, 9) collaborative problem-solving. Additionally, three sub-themes emerged during coding: (1) Caregiving, (2) Differences in Opinion, (3) Physical Touch. Results indicated that the theme of “connectedness” appeared most frequently (Gr=450). The findings provide unique insights into how popular trends of webcomics distributed through social media are beneficial to learning patterns of couples’ coping strategies. I conclude the emphasis of webcomics used more frequently as resources for families to learn resilient approaches.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)