Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Preschoolers' Prosocial Responding to Social Others' Distress
by Janice, Josephine, M.S., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2017, 83; 10277247
Abstract (Summary)

The present study examined the effect of familiarity with social partners on preschoolers’ prosocial responses to social others’ distress and related their responses to dispositional empathy and temperamental inhibition. Sixty-one preschoolers (38 boys, 23 girls, mean age: 44 months) were recruited from local preschools. Preschoolers went through three conditions of simulated distress in different social partners in the same order (the caregiver, an adult stranger, and an infant manikin). Parent-report Griffith Empathy Measure (GEM) and the Behavioral Inhibition Questionnaire (BIQ) were used to measure children’s dispositional empathy and temperamental inhibition. The results indicated that preschoolers’ behavioral responses to social others’ distress varied by familiarity with social partners, with the greatest amount of time spent in showing caregiver-oriented actions followed by infant-oriented actions. Overall, higher levels of dispositional empathy were related to a greater amount of time spent in response behaviors with a focus on others’ well-being. Temperamental inhibition also exhibited predictive values for prosocial behavior, with high inhibition related to less other-oriented behaviors. Together, the present study underscored the social and personality factors that are implicated with individual differences in preschool children’s prosocial responses to social others’ distress.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lin, Hung Chu
Commitee: Breaux, Brooke, Perkins, Rick, Yang, Yang
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: MAI 57/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Psychology
Keywords: Dispositional empathy, Familiarity, Preschoolers, Prosocial behavior, Social partners, Temperamental inhibition
Publication Number: 10277247
ISBN: 978-0-355-52051-4
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