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The Handbook of Lifespan Communication


Edited By Jon F. Nussbaum

The Handbook of Lifespan Communication is the foundational scholarly text that offers readers a state of the art view of the varied and rich areas of lifespan communication research. The fundamental assumptions of lifespan communication are that the very nature of human communication is developmental, and, to truly understand communication, change across time must be incorporated into existing theory and research. Beginning with chapters on lifespan communication theory and methodologies, chapters are then organized into the various phases of life: early childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood, middle adulthood, and older adulthood. Top scholars across several disciplines have contributed to chapters within their domains of expertise, highlighting significant horizons that will guide researchers for years to come.
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Series Editor’s Preface



Children, Families, and Aging


The Handbook of Lifespan Communication represents a signficant milestone in the history of the development of ideas about communication. Milestones, intended to mark distances along thoroughfares, also highlight important vistas along the way. Decades ago, the Editor of this volume, Professor Jon Nussbaum, regarded as the father of lifespan communicaton, offered the communication discipline the most expansive view of communication possible: the study of communication across the entire human lifespan. Since then, Professor Nussbaum and a host of colleagues have amassed an important body of knowledge under the auspices of lifespan communication that features an extensive focus on communication in later life. In other parts of the communication field, communciation scholars who study families, for example, have also been developing bodies of knowledge (mostly focused on young adults), alongside of those studying communication in relationships, groups, and orgnizations as well as in public and mass-mediated contexts. In fact, scholars representing at least 57 different divisions, sections, and caucuses of the National Communication Association ( have all been been working to advance the field of communication.

Inspired in part by Professor Nussbaum’s work, this book series invites all communication scholars to view communication through a panoramic lens, from first words to final conversations—a comprehensive communication vista that brings children, adolescents, adults, and those in later life as well as lifespan groups such as the family into focus. By viewing communciation panoramically it ← xi | xii → is also my...

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