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New Book by ODU's Socha Accentuates the Positive in Interpersonal Communication

Communication professor Thomas Socha

A new book by Old Dominion's Thomas Socha is helping launch a new area of communication inquiry that looks at communication, happiness and wellness.

"The Positive Side of Interpersonal Communication" (Peter Lang), which Socha co-edited with former ODU colleague Maggie Pitts, now at the University of Arizona, builds on past research that includes prosocial-antisocial communication and positive psychology, as well as complements the dark side of interpersonal communication. Regarded as a groundbreaking volume, the book brings together veteran interpersonal communication scholars to examine the bright, positive sides of communication in human relations.

Socha, a professor and University Professor of communication at ODU, and Pitts begin to frame a conceptual foundation for studies on the positive side of interpersonal communication, or in general terms, relational communication that promotes happiness, health and wellness. In the process they examine moments of relational beauty, laughter and play, positive emotion, relational support, understanding and forgiveness, as well as facilitation of positive character traits and positive relational communication values.

"The Positive Side of Interpersonal Communication," Socha's fifth book, is intended to serve as a starting point for future research as well as inspiring new areas of interpersonal communication scholarship. It is the 14th volume in the Language as Social Action series.

Socha and Pitts also have another book in the works on positive communication, "Positive Communication in Health and Wellness," which will be out in the fall.

Socha, who has taught at ODU since 1989 and serves as graduate program director of the university's new M.A. in Lifespan and Digital Communication program, is the immediate past president of the Southern States Communication Association.