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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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12. CosmoKidz: Helping Children Make Better Social Worlds: JOHN CHETRO-SZIVOS, MARIT EIKAAS HAAVIMB, KIMBERLY PEARCE


Helping Children Make Better Social Worlds


Assumption University and Clark University


Consultant, Drammen Area, Norway


De Anza College

There is little doubt that communication patterns begin at birth and from the early weeks of life infants learn how to coordinate with caregivers to signal hunger, frustration, discomfort, and most importantly build bonds. Over a decade ago, Trevartehn and Aitken (2001) described the process of intersubjectivity as mothers and infants mutually seek communication and initiate the beginnings of attachment. Their findings showed these early attachments and coordinated acts are critical in the formation of later relationships.

Daniel Goleman’s (1995, 2006) research on emotional intelligence was supporting his claim that the ability to get along with others is the glue of healthy human development. Initially we find this in the infant/caretaker relationship, but it quickly grows to include the expanding social world of peers and others. Recent longitudinal research is supporting Goleman’s claim by demonstrating that the development of social skills in kindergarten correlates with their success as adults two decades later (Scelfo, 2015).

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