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Communication Begins with Children

A Lifespan Communication Sourcebook

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Edited By Thomas J. Socha and Narissra Maria Punyanunt-Carter

Communication Begins with Children: A Lifespan Communication Sourcebook seeks to transform the field of communication, arguing that the field must stop neglecting and segregating children and instead adopt an age-inclusive lifespan approach that fully includes and fully considers children in all communication theorizing, research, and education from infancy and throughout the human lifespan. One-size-fits-all, adult-centric communication theorizing, researching, and educating is inadequate and harms the communication field’s potential as a social force for positive change for all communicators. The volume contains four sections (Foundations, Relational Communication Development, Digital Communication Development, and Navigating Developmental Communication Challenges) that showcase state-of-the-art chapters about the history of children’s relational and digital communication studies, methods used to study children’s communication, media literacy development, communication and children’s health, and much more. A must read for all communication researchers, educators, and students and an important addition to advanced and graduate level human and digital communication courses.

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4. Children, Parents, and Resilience: Exploring Challenges and Potential of Communication’s Contribution to Developmental Thriving: GARY A. BECK, KRISTEN CARR

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Exploring Challenges and Potential of Communication’s Contributions to Developmental Thriving

GARY A. BECK

Old Dominion University

KRISTEN CARR

Texas Christian University

For decades, scholars across a variety of disciplines have attempted to explicate the often-detrimental consequences of adverse childhood experiences. As a result of this extensive focus, we know that children who endure stressful, nonnormative, and adverse events early in childhood are often more likely to face a variety of social and emotional issues later in life (Benson, 1997; Richardson, 2002). Yet despite these potentially negative consequences of childhood adversity, a small but significant subset of children emerge from adverse childhood circumstances as happy, healthy, and well-functioning adults (Werner & Smith, 1992). When children are able to anticipate, respond, and recover from significant early-life circumstances, we call them resilient.

Resilience is defined as the “successful adaption to adversity” and is often investigated as an individual response to stressful experiences (Zautra, Hall, & Murray, 2010, p. 4). Understanding and promoting resilience in children is particularly important because it provides an opportunity to shape and benefit their later-life functioning as adults. If children develop the early ability to respond resiliently to adverse childhood experiences, it likely becomes a pattern that is built upon and carried into adulthood. Yet increasingly, childhood experiences present numerous and varied sets of challenges across multiple domains with the opportunity to evoke a resilient response to each as they develop.

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