In the past several months, the national news media has been full of stories of physical attacks, suicide and murder of children and teens brought on by bullying.

At the same time, there has been a dramatic increase in personal attacks and abusive verbal rhetoric on display in policy debates and political campaigns.

A new breed of message posters, called trolls, post hurtful, inflammatory material for maximum reaction on news organization’s online comment sections, social networking pages and blogging sites, filling them with baiting, personal attacks.

Aggressive communication is at epidemic levels in society, with bullying being expressed in schools, the workplace, families, politics, healthcare and other contexts.

“Arguments, Aggression, and Conflict: New Directions in Theory and Research,” a new book co-authored by two of the most recognized scholars in aggressive communication research, Theodore A. Avtgis, associate professor of communication studies at West Virginia University, and Andrew S. Rancer, professor of communication at the University of Akron, is the definitive account of aggressive communication and the impact of such communication on society.

“We, as a whole, are losing the ability to argue, and, as a result, are prone to resort to symbolically destroying one another,” said Avtgis.

“This book addresses all aspects of aggressive communication and ways in which people can begin to proactively and positively address this disturbing, growing phenomenon.”

The book features an exclusive focus on two aggressive communication traits, argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness, with chapters expanding on cutting-edge issues in the field and presenting new ideas for future research. This is one of the most dominant areas of communication research over the last twenty-five years, both nationally and internationally.

Avtgis received a doctorate from Kent State University, and is co-author of four books including “Argumentative and Aggressive Communication: Theory, Research and Application.”

He has also authored over 45 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters appearing in Management Communication Quarterly, Communication Education, Communication Research Reports and the Journal of Intercultural Communication, among others, and is a co-founder of Medical Communication Specialists.

Avtgis was recognized as one of the top twelve most productive researchers in the field of communication studies and is a member of the World Council on Hellenes Abroad, USA Region, of American Academics. He was named as a Centennial Scholar of Communication by the Eastern Communication Association.

For more information about the book or the phenomenon of aggressive communication, contact Theodore Avtgis at 304-293-3905 or via e-mail at


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