Prosocial Behaviour In Children

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As a parent of young children it can be hard to balance all the demands of daily life. Running errands, completing household chores and raising children can be exhausting when it seems as though there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all. Fortunately, psychology researchers have some good news for you! Recent research in psychology has been looking at the development of prosocial behaviour in toddlers. Prosocial behaviour is defined as voluntarily doing things to benefit other individuals out of general concern and care for others (Waugh, Bronwell and Pollock, 2015). In everyday life this is could be seen as helping your friends, family, neighbours and even strangers. Volunteering within the community to benefit others is also a common…show more content…
Clearly, eye-tracking studies provide a useful and interesting avenue for research on development of a child’s helping and other prosocial behaviours.
Many recent studies are looking into factors that can benefit children in the socialization of these helping behaviours. A study conducted by Over and Carpenter found that 18 month old children were more likely to act spontaneously prosocial after being primed with photographs promoting positive relationships (2009). In the study, after seeing photos of household objects with two dolls positioned in an affiliative manner, infants were more likely to help out an experimenter when items were dropped, and did so autonomously. These findings suggest that children who are surrounded by positive associations are more likely to help those around
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In this study, parents read picture books with their children and the children who were asked to reflect and discuss the emotions depicted in the book were found to be more helpful to an adult in need than those who were not asked to reflect. This finding is important because it shows another simple way that parents can promote prosocial behaviours in their children. Acting prosocially benefits oneself and one’s surroundings by promoting positive interactions within a society, and the research above shows that encouraging this behaviour in children is easier than one might expect! By capitalizing on the early emergence of this behaviour and using these strategies, you can help your child develop these all-too important prosocial behaviours and get your housework done at the same

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