ERIC Number: ED164133
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-May
Reference Count: 0
Emotions in the Lives of Children.
Several related studies of empathy and altruism in children were conducted to answer such questions as: (1) What are the very early signs of empathy and altruism in children? (2) What kinds of transformations in these behaviors take place during development? and (3) How do rearing experiences influence these behaviors? Data related to these questions were obtained from several age groups and through different methods. Children 10 months to 2-1/2 years were studied in the home environment by trained mothers who functioned as research assistants. Children 3-1/2-5-1/2 years were studied under experimental conditions. Children 5-8 years were studied in nursery schools and day camps through naturalistic and systematic observation. Among the findings, developmentally changing behaviors were noted: children's response to the distress of another begins (around 10-12 months) with agitated facial expressions and/or crys of distress and proceeds through touching or rubbing the injured person and, later to trying on feelings by deliberate imitation and self-referencing or immediate taking on the emotion of the injured other. An increase in altruism appears to require a combination of conditions in which caregivers have a nurturant relationship with the child and actively demonstrate altruism in behavior toward people in distress. (Author/RH)
Descriptors: Altruism, Children, Emotional Development, Empathy, Imitation, Infants, Longitudinal Studies, Modeling (Psychology), Mothers, Perspective Taking, Prosocial Behavior, Research, Role Models, Social Development
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402 ($1.00, Stock No. 017-024-00656-4)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD. Div. of Scientific and Public Information.