Posted: March 22nd, 2023

Article Review

Research provides essential insights in different professional areas of psychology, informing future study and practice. Hence, review of previous research provides critical evidence on what is already done in various fields to inform practice or as the basis for conducting further investigation on the same or related topics. “Review of Nonverbal Communication in Parent-Child Relationships: Assessment and Intervention” by Colegrove and Havighurst (2017) is reviewed regarding various aspects of the research to establish its validity for application in future research and practice. The assessment covers dominant theory and practice in the implementation of nonverbal communication in parenting.

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The Professional Area of Psychology

Educational and developmental psychology is an area that provides an understanding of some of the tools that are applicable in practice. Developmental psychology provides an understanding of changes that occur in an individual’s life throughout the lifespan (Allen & Marshall, 2015). Professionals in this field provide information on the necessary support to offer individuals and families to overcome some of the challenges evident in each stage. The study involves the development of some interventions that can assist parents to understand the role of nonverbal communication and how they can connect with their children more effectively. Hence, the professional can work with children and their families when providing practical solutions to typical issues affecting parenting.

The Roles of Psychology Professionals

Educational and developmental psychologists play an important role in supporting children as they develop and learn. They provide essential answers to parents about some challenges they face with their children during the different stages of their life (Luthar, 2015). The article covers the role of these professionals from the perspective of using assessment tools and interventions to enhance nonverbal communication between parents and their children (Colegrove & Havighurst, 2017). While children and parents might frequently use NVC approaches, they may not understand their role in parent-child relationships. Hence, the professionals can assist in unraveling the information to support the use of interventions more effectively.

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The Theoretical Perspective

The study is based on the social information processing perspective that provides the definition of nonverbal communication as applied in research. The theory defines nonverbal communication as the actual sending and receiving of nonverbal information in social contexts. The model also relates to the role of communication in building such relationships (Dodge, 2014). Hence, the approach is relevant to the study, especially on the part of nonverbal communication in building parent-child relationships. In addition, the theory further reveals the importance of the association in creating positive emotional bonds between parents and children through understanding their wellbeing.

The Settings of the Study

The setting of a study is an essential aspect of obtaining relevant findings. According to Punch (2013), proper research review includes an evaluation of the relevance of study settings. Although Colegrove and Havighurst (2017) did not perform a primary study, such as experimental design, the authors reviewed past research to examine the topic of nonverbal communication in parent-child relationships. However, the review was conducted in an organizational setting to establish the efficacy of nonverbal communication in parent-child relationships and the potential application of the approach as an intervention tool to assist children with NVC. The findings apply to organizations that support parents and children facing communication challenges.

The Ethical Concerns in the Study

Ethical considerations are critical in research, especially when studying human subjects. Ethics play an essential role in ensuring that the rights of participants are protected and that they are not harmed in any way in the course of the research (Faden et al., 2013). Researchers seek ethical permission to perform studies that have potential harm to subjects. However, Colegrove and Havighurst (2017) did not involve human subjects directly since their study approach was not a primary research, such as an experiment. Hence, the researchers did not have to make ethical considerations, especially seeking approval from institutional ethical review boards.

The Results of the Study

Colegrove and Havighurst (2017) established an important role played by nonverbal communication in parenting as well as parent-child relationships. The study found success in various clinical and nonclinical groups and in children of different ages. According to the findings, when implemented effectively, nonverbal communication practices have the potential to enhance parenting approaches. The researchers ascertained the ways in which nonverbal communication can be used in assessment and intervention in improving the relationship between parents and children before the age of 12. Some of the active interventions established include play, creative art mediums, and psycho-education that operate effectively with nonverbal communication. Thus, the researchers recommend the assessment of effective ways of implementing such interventions to improve parent-child relationships.

The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Study

The study reviewed empirically based theory-building research on the interventions that used non-verbal communication in supporting parent-child relationships. Although various responses are used in the paper, most of them have not undergone a proper assessment to inform their efficacy. The researchers reviewed recent studies on the topic, revealing the relevance of the information in modern challenges. However, the researchers found only a few interventions that met their criteria for inclusion. The review was limited by inadequate studies in English as well as a lack of relevance of interventions. It is worth noting that only a few studies have investigated the role of nonverbal communication in parent-child relationships.

Possible Contemporary Applications of the Results

The results of the study will play an essential role in interventions aimed at improving various aspects of development in children before the age of 12. Intervention development will be informed by the presented ideas on the type of nonverbal communications that have been proven effective in the review. Parents have various questions about the approach of dealing with various needs presented by their children. Hence, developmental and educational psychologists can provide answers based on empirical knowledge obtained from current research and similar studies on nonverbal communication between parents and their children. The professionals can play a critical role in improving parenting strategies in the modern and demanding environment with various barriers, including social media.


As it is evident from the review, the research provides critical insights into the role of nonverbal communication in improving the relationship between parents and children. Psychologists and therapists dealing with children should understand the outcome of the study to gain understanding on how to apply different non-verbal tools to support children in their development and to improve the role of parents in the process. However, it is essential for additional research on the assessment and evaluation of current and new nonverbal communication models in clinical setup to include the practice at the core of parent-child intervention. Consequently, psychologists will improve their practice by incorporating some of the lessons depicted in the study.

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