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Building Family Relationships from a Distance: Supporting Connections with Babies and Toddlers Using Video and Video Chat

Abstract

Today, a deployed father can still interact and even play with his infant at home. In fact, families report using video chat services like Skype or FaceTime to help their children develop and maintain relationships with remote grandparents and with parents who are separated from them by work), divorce, immigration, or military deployment). This chapter highlights studies that have incorporated media in order to facilitate remote family relationships between babies and their relatives. First, the chapter describes video interventions like the Just Beginning Program and United Through Reading, programs that use videos to support relationships between babies and their incarcerated or deployed parents. Then it explores the challenges and opportunities of video chat in supporting the developmental needs of babies and toddlers during remote communication. The implications of video technology to support remote family relationships with babies are discussed.

Keywords

  • Video chat
  • Media co-use
  • Communication
  • Infant
  • Toddler
  • Developmental constraints
  • Joint visual attention
  • Family
  • Parent–child interactions
  • Grandparents
  • Utilization of media resources
  • At risk populations

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge all those who contributed to the collection of video chat observations, with special thanks to Rachel Cohen for her extraordinary commitment to the project, and to Drs. Yulia Chentsova-Dutton, W. Gerrod Parrott, and Steven Holochwost for their collaboration. We would especially like to thank all the families who welcomed us into their homes for the study. We would also like to acknowledge Carole Shuaffer and Benjamin Richeda for their contributions to the Just Beginning program.

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McClure, E., Barr, R. (2017). Building Family Relationships from a Distance: Supporting Connections with Babies and Toddlers Using Video and Video Chat. In: Barr, R., Linebarger, D. (eds) Media Exposure During Infancy and Early Childhood. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-45102-2_15

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