Amanda J. Young


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Dr. Young joined the Department of Communication in 2004, after serving as director of communication research at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System in Pittsburgh, PA, for 5 years. Her research in health communication has focused on rhetorical agency in patient/provider interactions in chronic illness, as well as geriatrics, end-of-life care, public health communication, and health literacy. Since 2017, she has studied the communication and social justice issues surrounding Sickle Cell Disease. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Health Communication, Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, The Journal of Family Communication, Qualitative Health Research, Frontiers in Public Health, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved, Technical Communication Quarterly, and others, as well as in the edited volume, Rhetoric in Detail: Discourse Analytic Approaches to Rhetorical Text and Talk, where she explores rhetorical agency and voice. In addition to several smaller projects, she is a co-investigator on SCDC, a CDC-funded sickle cell disease surveillance project, and SCDCGENE, a collaboration with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and other institutions that works with sickle cell stakeholders and providers to develop informed consent materials for gene therapy. Dr. Young uses qualitative research methods in the context of community-based participatory research.


Ph.D., Rhetoric, Carnegie Mellon University
M.A., Technical and Professional Writing, Eastern Washington University
B.S., English Composition, Davis and Elkins College

Sample Publications

Young, A. J., Richardson, F., Fitzgerald, D., . . .Grant, C. (2020). Let their voices be seen: using photovoice to understand the experiences of sickle cell patients in the emergency department. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 76(3); S73-S77.

Young, A. J., & Kim, L. (2018). Moving toward patient autonomy: A case study of communication in adolescent cystic fibrosis care. ACLP Bulletin, 36(1), 24-33.

 Young, A. J., Stephens, E., & Goldsmith, J. V. (2017). Family caregiver communication in the ICU: Toward a relational view of health literacy. Journal of Family Communication, 17(2), 137-152. DOI: 10.1080/15267431.2016.1247845

Young, A. J. (2016). Breathe. Health Communication 31(9), 1174-1177. DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2015.1032852.

 Young, A. J, Kim, L., Li S., Baker, J., Schmidt, M., Camp, J. W., & Barfield, R. C. (2010). Agency and communication challenges in discussion of informed consent in pediatric cancer research. Qualitative Health Research 20; 628-64