ERIC Number: ED204829
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
The Development of Nonverbal Communication Behavior in School Children, Grades K-12.
Andersen, Peter A.; And Others
A study was conducted to examine how different kinds of children's nonverbal behavior developed across grade levels. The six kinds of behavior studied were (1) proxemic, or observance of personal space; (2) haptic, or touching behavior; (3) oculesic, or gazing; (4) kinesic, or interpreting emotions from facial expressions; (5) vocalic, or identifying emotions from vocal cues; and (6) behavior stemming from perceptions of physical appearance. Nine hundred and one teachers from all grade levels were asked to indicate what percentage of their students engaged in each of 64 nonverbal behaviors. The results indicated that observance of personal space increased with grade level, while interpersonal touching decreased except for sexual touching. The gazing variables indicated no developmental increase, with students at all levels maintaining eye contact when speaking and when spoken to. The kinesic variables also showed no developmental pattern, although smiling appeared to decrease until grade seven, then fluctuate through grade 12. The ability to identify emotions from vocal cues steadily increased with grade level. There was also a developmental pattern for the physical appearance variables, with avoidance of overweight children and concern about dress increasing with grade level. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (31st, Minneapolis, MN, May 21-25, 1981). Not available in paper copy due to marginal legibility of original document.