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Communication Begins with Children

A Lifespan Communication Sourcebook


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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7. An Historical Look at Children and Media Research: Lessons Learned and Questions Revisited: ALEXIS R. LAURICELLA, FASHINA ALADE, ELLEN WARTELLA


Lessons Learned and Questions Revisited


Northwestern University


Northwestern University


Northwestern University

Children’s use of electronic media technology has been a topic of recurring concern, study, and public policy since at least the early 20th century (Wartella & Robb, 2007). With each new generation of media to occupy public interest and, most importantly, children’s leisure time, concerns about media’s impact on children’s social and cognitive development have recurred with each new technological innovation. Rooted in the fact that children have been early adopters and, by and large, heavy users of media, concerned parents, teachers, and caregivers have consistently worried about the impact of such media use on children’s knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. So it has been, and so it is today. Drawing on both popular and political discourse around children and media as well as empirical research, we present an overview of children’s media use today, along with a historical framework for looking at these issues, and, finally, a modern perspective for considering the effects of media on children.

The Ubiquity of Media as the Root of Concern

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