ERIC Number: ED285677
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Mother-Child Interaction and Prosocial Development in Toddlers: A Multivariate Study Using the Living Systems Framework.
Bergin, Christi A. C.
The Living Systems Framework was used to generate four categories of parent behaviors that might affect processes responsible for eliciting prosocial behavior in children: (1) teaching values, rules, and standards; (2) providing opportunities for rehearsal and mastery; (3) providing opportunities for self-regulation and self-control; and (4) providing social and emotional support. Data on parent and child behavior were obtained through questionnaires and observations made over a 6-week period in home and play group settings. Assessed prosocial behaviors of children were compassion, amiability with peers, remorse, and obedience. Each behavior was assessed in the presence or absence of rule, and in the presence or absence of another person in distress. Subjects were 28 mothers and their firstborn, home-reared children between the ages of 20 and 31 months, with a mean age of 2 years. Results suggested that in young children prosocial behavior may be more a function of learning prosocial scripts and habits than learning principles of conduct. Thus child prosocial behavior correlated most strongly with provision of opportunities for rehearsal and mastery of prosocial behavior, and not at all with the teaching of values, rules, and standards. Provision of social and emotional support correlated with most of the child prosocial behaviors. Finally, mothers' provision of opportunities for self-regulation and self-control was correlated with child prosocial behaviors involving the presence of rules, suggesting that highly controlling techniques may detract from their intended effect. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Baltimore, MD, April 23-26, 1987).