In the future with the help of computer technology,research will more often address how multiple chan-nels of communication combine to convey meaning,the nature of nonverbal behavior between interactingpartners or in groups, and nonverbal behavior as itchanges over time within interactions.
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Nonviolence: Protective Factors
Violent behavior is the outcome of complex transac-tions between biological, psychological, and socialfactorsunderspeciﬁcsituationalconditions.Althoughthe typical manifestations of aggressiveness changefrom childhood to adulthood, interpersonal diﬀer-ences seem to remain relatively stable over time. Thisis particularly due to a subgroup of early starters whoare life-course-persistent in their antisocial behaviorandfrequentlyengageinseriousandviolentoﬀending(Moﬃtt 1993).Prospective longitudinal studies have revealed well-replicated causes and risks for such a development(Loeber and Farrington 1998; Loeber and Stout-hamer-Loeber 1998). However, even the best pre-dictions explain only a moderate amount of variance.Many children who are exposed to high risk do notdevelop serious aggressive behavior. Others who seemto enter the early-starting pathway leave it again aftersometime.Althoughtheseprocessesofabstinenceanddesistance are very important for explanation andprevention, far less research has been directed towardthe issue of nonviolence in high-risk youngsters thanvice versa (Lo
sel and Bender 2001). These studies arepart of the more general research on resilience, that isa process of positive adaptation in spite of signiﬁcantadversity (Luthar et al. 2000). However, research inthis ﬁeld is subject to various conceptual and meth-odological problems.
1. Conceptual and Methodological Issues
Majorproblems arethedeﬁnitionand operationaliza-tion of risk, the ambiguity of protective factors, andthe multidimensionality of behavioral outcomes. Re-silience is not a static personality characteristic. Thepositive outcome of nonviolence may vary over timeand developmental circumstances depending on thepresence or absence of risk and protective factors.However, these risk and protective factors are notdiﬀerent classes of variables but often the negative vs.positive pole of the same variable (e.g., low vs. goodintelligence).Riskcanbedeﬁnedbyobjectivevariables(e.g., low SES) or subjective indicators (e.g., violence-prone attitudes). In the latter case, protective mech-anisms may be partially confounded with both riskand behavioral outcome. Similarly important is thedegree of risk; without a substantial risk, a goodoutcome may be misinterpreted as a result of aprotective mechanism. In contrast, the more risks arepresent, the less variance is left over for protectiveeﬀects.Protective factors are variables that diﬀer betweengroups of comparable high risk who show positive vs.negative behavioral outcome (Rutter 1985). A goodexampleofresearchistheKauaiStudythatinvestigat-ed resilient and deviant children from early childhoodtoadulthood(WernerandSmith1992).Otherauthorssuggest that a factor should be labeled protective onlyifitreducestheproblembehaviorwhenriskishighbuthas no impact when risk is low (Stattin et al. 1997). Inboth concepts, the search for protective mechanismsrefers to interaction eﬀects (for other methodological10706
erbal Communication, Social Psychology of