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Prosocial DevelopmentA Multidimensional Approach$
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Laura M. Padilla-Walker and Gustavo Carlo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199964772

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199964772.001.0001

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Prosocial Behaviors in Early Childhood

Prosocial Behaviors in Early Childhood

Helping Others, Responding to the Distress of Others, and Working with Others

(p.350) 17 Prosocial Behaviors in Early Childhood
Prosocial Development

Deborah Laible

Erin Karahuta

Oxford University Press

The goal of this chapter is to review the different types of prosocial behaviors that are present or that emerge during early childhood. The chapter focuses on three broad types of prosocial behaviors that seem to emerge during infancy and toddlerhood. The first is responsiveness to the distress of others, which includes children’s empathic concern and comforting behavior. The second involves children’s helping behavior, which has mostly been studied with regards to children’s informing behavior, instrumental helping, and helping with housework. Finally, the chapter discusses children’s ability to work with others, including their ability to share resources with, cooperate with others to meet goals, and comply with the requests of others. Finally, the chapter highlights a couple of possible explanations for the early ontogeny of prosocial behaviors and discuss future directions for researchers in this area.

Keywords:   empathy, comforting, instrumental helping, sharing, cooperation, early childhood, prosocial behavior

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