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Communicating Hope and Resilience Across the Lifespan

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Gary A. Beck and Thomas Socha

From serious illness to natural disasters, humans turn to communication as a major source of strength to help us bounce back and to keep growing and thriving.
Communicating Hope and Resilience Across the Lifespan addresses the various ways in which communication plays an important role in fostering hope and resilience. Adopting a lifespan approach and offering a new framework to expand our understanding of the concepts of «hope» and «resilience» from a communication perspective, contributors highlight the variety of «stressors» that people may encounter in their lives. They examine connections between the cognitive dimensions of hope such as self-worth, self-efficacy, and creative problem solving. They look at the variety of messages that can facilitate or inhibit experiencing hope in relationships, groups, and organizations. Other contributors look at how communication that can build strengths, enhance preparation, and model successful adaptation to change has the potential to lessen the negative impact of stress, demonstrating resilience.
As an important counterpoint to recent work focusing on what goes wrong in interpersonal relationships, communication that has the potential to uplift and facilitate responses to stressful circumstances is emphasized throughout this volume. By offering a detailed examination of how to communicate hope and resilience, this book presents practical lessons for individuals, marriages, families, relationship experts, as well as a variety of other practitioners.
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Acknowledgments

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There are many people that I recognize as important contributors to my own resilience process and sources of hope:My wife Tori, family, and my close collegues who I am lucky to consider true friends. In particular, my co-editor Tom Socha has been an endless advocate for strength-based communication practices cast across the lifespan, and his encouraging dialogue and provocative questions helped fuel many of the important contributions this volume strives to emphasize within the field. I would also like to acknowledge Anita Vangelisti for her ongoing mentorship, thoughtful feedback, and enduring patience with a young scholar throughout the development and exploration of this subject area. Finally, a special thanks to all of the chapter contributors for going above and beyond, and especially those who reached out with additional curiousities and ideas for future projects as we continue to explore these promising areas of research.

—GAB

First, the lion’s share of accolades for this volume go to Dr. Gary Beck. He is an incredibly bright, rising communication star who cares deeply that his work matters not just to advancing the scholarly literature, but more importantly that it can help all who need a communication boost. He is exceedingly hard-working and always willing to go the extra distance; a pure joy to count as my colleague and friend. Second, my thanks to the many authors who answered Gary Beck’s clarion call for research on this most important and essential front of positive lifespan communication. It...

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