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Preschoolers' Prosocial Responses to Their Peers' Distress

Preschoolers' Prosocial Responses to Their Peers' Distress

Abstract

Fifty-two preschoolers' (36 to 56 months old) spontaneous responses to their crying peers were naturalistically observed, recorded, and analyzed in 3 child-care programs. Individual differences in age, gender, temperament, social competence, child-care experience, and friendship status were examined to understand how these variables shape children's prosocial behavior with peers. Variations in manner of responding were related to children's temperament, friendship status, and positive interactive style with peers. The results suggest that socioemotional functioning with peers and individual characteristics affect children's responses to a peer's distress.
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