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ERIC Number: ED039023
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Determinants of Children's Attempts to Help Another Child in Distress.
Staub, Ervin
This paper reports research studies on the determinants of children's helping of another child in distress. Effects of age and various environmental conditions were investigated. Experiments had a similar design: subjects were given a task and made aware that a child was alone in an adjoining room. The experimenter then left the room and subjects heard the child's distress sounds; sobbing and/or calls for help. In one study involving elementary school children, age and number of children in the group were the variables examined. A curvilinear relationship was found between helping behavior and age. Helping behavior increased from K to grade 2, but decreased from grade 2 to 6; sixth graders helping about as much as kindergarteners. Up to second grade, pairs of children tended to help more than individual children. In other experiments, 7th graders were given varied information about the permissibility of entering an adjoining room from which distress sounds would subsequently be heard. Children who received permission helped significantly more often than others. This finding suggests that society may overemphasize obedience. An experiment on learning helping behavior used kindergarten subjects to test variables of role playing, induction, and sex. The findings suggest that training in role playing may help children to learn prosocial helping behavior. (NH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the meetings of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C., September, 1969