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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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15. At the Crossroads of Prevention: Promoting Children’s and Adolescents’ Health: MICHELLE MILLER-DAY

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Promoting Children’s and Adolescents’ Health

MICHELLE MILLER-DAY

Chapman University

While humans have the propensity to develop a suite of prosocial behaviors, they are also capable of developing antisocial behavior, engaging in substance abuse, experiencing depression, and bearing children at an early age. … Young people who develop aggressive behavior tendencies are likely to develop problems with tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; to fail academically; to have children at an early age; and to raise children likely to have the same problems. (p. 17).

—Anthony Biglan (2015)

What if there was a way to prevent drug abuse, bullying, depression and suicide among children and teens? There is a host of research indicating that nurturing prosocial behavior in children and promoting nurturing communication in families is key to preventing these problems (see for example, Chiapa, Morris, Véronneau, & Dishion, 2016; Dishion & McMahon, 1998). In the early 1960s U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, espoused the promotion of healthy youth as the foundation for a healthy future for the United States. But the science of that time had not yet caught up with its optimism. In the 21st century, we now have effective tools to prevent these problem behaviors and promote children’s healthy behaviors to help them lead safe and productive lives. In 2015, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) calling on educational environments to help to prevent problem behaviors such as bullying and substance...

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