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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/156143
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- Almost being there: video communication with young children
- Tarasuik, Joanne Catherine; Galligan, Roslyn; Kaufman, Jordy
- Background: Video communication is increasingly used to connect people around the world. This includes connecting young children with their parents and other relatives during times of separation. An important issue is the extent to which video communication with children can approximate a physical presence such that familial relationships can be truly maintained by this means. Methodology/Principal Findings: The current study employed an adaptation of the Separation and Reunion Paradigm with children (17 months to 5 years) to investigate the potential for video communication with a parent to afford a sense of proximity and security to children. The protocol involved a free-play session with the parent, followed by two separationreunion episodes. During one of the separation episodes the parent was ‘virtually available’ to the child via a video link. Our results revealed three important differences. First, children left alone played longer in a strange room when their parent was virtually available to them compared to when the children were left alone with neither physical nor video contact with their parent. Second, younger participants sought physical contact with their parent less at the end of the video separation episode compared to when they were left entirely alone. Finally, the comparison between free play with video and free play with parent, revealed that the children exhibit a similar level of interactivity with their parent by video as they did in person. Conclusions/Significance: For young children a video connection can have many of the same effects as a physical presence. This is a significant finding as it is the first such empirical demonstration and indicates considerable promise in video communication as a tool to maintain family relationships when physical presence is not possible.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Life and Social Sciences. Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre
- PLoS ONE, Vol. 6, no. 2 (Feb 2011), article no. e17129
- Publication year
- Public Library of Science
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2011 Tarasuik et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.