Factors related to helping behavior in preschool-age children

Charles L. Richman, Carolyn Berry, Monnie Bittle, Kim Himan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The present two studies were conducted to assess the prosocial behaviors (comforting and helping) of preschool children as a function of the race and gender of the subjects and peer confederates. Results indicated that black, preschool-age males demonstrated prosocial behaviors more often than did white males and females. These findings were discussed in terms of the confounding between race of child and father absence; that is, a disproportionate number of black children were living in fatherless homes. It was suggested that single parents may turn to their opposite-sex child for both emotional and physical support and thus the child learns comforting and helping behaviors early in life. Support for this suggestion was derived from the finding that the number of household chores assigned to a child was positively related to helping behavior. The present results also showed that comforting and helping behaviors were negatively related, suggesting that prosocial acts are not a function of a general personality trait but are situationally specific. Finally, it was noted that race and gender of the peer confederate were not factors in determining the prosocial responses of the subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-165
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1988

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Helping Behavior
preschool age
Preschool Children
Single Parent
single parent
gender
preschool child
personality traits
Fathers
Personality
father
present

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education

Cite this

Factors related to helping behavior in preschool-age children. / Richman, Charles L.; Berry, Carolyn; Bittle, Monnie; Himan, Kim.

In: Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Vol. 9, No. 2, 1988, p. 151-165.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Richman, Charles L. ; Berry, Carolyn ; Bittle, Monnie ; Himan, Kim. / Factors related to helping behavior in preschool-age children. In: Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. 1988 ; Vol. 9, No. 2. pp. 151-165.
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