Matching Items (9)

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Adolescent Prosocial Behavior at SES Extremes

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The literature has consistently established levels of adolescent maladjustment well above national norms for both socioeconomic (SES) extremes (Lyman & Luthar 2014). Yet literature on positive adolescent adjustment, and its

The literature has consistently established levels of adolescent maladjustment well above national norms for both socioeconomic (SES) extremes (Lyman & Luthar 2014). Yet literature on positive adolescent adjustment, and its protective or even corrective factors is lacking (Eisenberg, Zhou, & Coller, 2001). This study examined the effects of gender and SES on parent attachment in relation to reports of prosocial behavior. Eleventh grade adolescents (N = 397) were recruited from two public high schools for academically-gifted students who were either high or low-level SES (i.e. the extremes). The students provided passive consent and answered questions on their demographics, perceived relationship with their parents, and tendency to behave in a prosocial manner. Multivariate analyses of variance and follow up analyses of variance were run by gender and SES to determine main effects for gender and SES on parent attachment and prosocial behavior. Regressions following preliminary correlations analyzed whether parental attachment predicted higher levels of adolescent prosocial behavior. Results demonstrated that females communicated with their mothers significantly more and reported higher levels of prosocial behavior than their male counterparts. Findings with regard to SES revealed that high SES adolescents reported increased parent attachment, whereas low SES adolescents reported higher levels of community\u2014based prosocial behaviors. Finally, certain dimensions of parent attachment predicted increases and decreases only in specific prosocial behaviors. Because prosocial behaviors change throughout adolescence, future ventures should consider a longitudinal analysis to obtain a more comprehensive picture of adolescent positive adjustment.

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Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Genetic and Environmental Influences on Children's Prosocial Behavior: The Role of Parenting

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The purpose of the current study was to determine the genetic and environmental contributions to the development of prosocial behavior in children using a population of 356 twins at 8

The purpose of the current study was to determine the genetic and environmental contributions to the development of prosocial behavior in children using a population of 356 twins at 8 years of age. The study also aimed to examine whether qualities of parenting (specifically authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles) were phenotypic predictors of prosocial behavior. Both parent-reports and objective ratings of global prosocial behavior were used. Results supported prosocial behavior as a genetically-influenced trait with heritability estimates of 44% and 68% for parent reported and observed prosocial behavior, respectively. Data also suggested prosocial behavior as an environmentally-influenced trait. As hypothesized, authoritative parenting was moderately correlated with parent-reported prosocial behavior and authoritarian parenting was found to be low-to-moderately negatively correlated with parent-reported prosocial behavior. Multi-variable regressions demonstrated that authoritative parenting was significantly predictive of increased parent-reported prosocial behavior but authoritarian parenting was not predictive of decreased parent reported prosocial behavior. However, observed prosocial behaviors were largely independent of both authoritative and authoritarian styles of parenting.

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Date Created
  • 2017-12

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The Effect of Priming Biblical Benevolence on Prosocial Behavior Rabia Memon

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Religion and the belief in supernatural agents have been assumed to play an important role in encouraging prosocial behavior. However, different studies conducted have shown a complex relation between religion

Religion and the belief in supernatural agents have been assumed to play an important role in encouraging prosocial behavior. However, different studies conducted have shown a complex relation between religion and prosociality. For example, Darley & Batson (1973) found that religious people do not always help strangers. In the present study, Christian participants were primed with benevolent commandments attributed to either the Bible or past historical figures or secular, non-benevolent quotes (control). I then measured their willingness to help pick up envelopes dropped by either a Muslim (wearing a hijab) or non-Muslim confederate woman. The results show that subjects primed with Bible or presidential quotes about benevolence were more likely to be helpful to the Muslim confederate than those in the control group. Differences between the Bible and presidential condition were not significant. I conclude that an authority, whether it be a president or God, promoting benevolence can increase prosocial behaviors toward out-group members.

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Date Created
  • 2012-12

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Does Twin Relationship Quality Predict Prosocial and Aggressive Behavior? The Role of Genetics and the Environment

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Approximately 95% of Americans have at least one sibling (Weaver, Coleman, & Ganong, 2003), making it more likely that children grow up with a sibling than with a father (Lyon,

Approximately 95% of Americans have at least one sibling (Weaver, Coleman, & Ganong, 2003), making it more likely that children grow up with a sibling than with a father (Lyon, 2009). It is therefore somewhat surprising to learn that sibling relationships have not been a central focus of psychological research, especially considering the fact that parent-child and peer relationships have been studied so extensively. There is no doubt that parents and peers have profound effects on children's emotional, psychological and social wellbeing, but siblings have important effects as well. By middle childhood, children spend more time with their siblings than they do with their parents (Pike, Coldwell, & Dunn, 2005). The sibling relationship is one of the longest and most lasting relationships that we as humans have. Approximately 78% of Americans over the age of sixty still have contact with at least one sibling (Cicirelli, 1995). Unlike parents, siblings are often in our lives until the end of our lifespan and, unlike friends, we do not choose them. They act as teachers, friends, and critics, just to name a few, and they are often a sounding board off of which we can test our ideas and behaviors. The focus of the current study is on the twin sibling relationship quality in middle childhood and in adolescence and its implications for individual adjustment, specifically in the realm of prosocial and aggressive behaviors. I evaluated twin sibling cooperation and conflict at both age 7-8 years and age 12-14 years and then examined prosocial and aggressive tendencies concurrently and longitudinally to study the strength of the association between the two. This study also aimed to better understand the extent to which prosocial behavior and aggression are influenced by genetic and environmental factors.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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On Empathy Development in Young Children

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During the formative years, habits, outlooks, and attitudes develop which influence social interaction throughout life. Because empathy is crucial in social interaction, empathy development should be supported. Evidence of empathy

During the formative years, habits, outlooks, and attitudes develop which influence social interaction throughout life. Because empathy is crucial in social interaction, empathy development should be supported. Evidence of empathy is first observed around the age of two (Radke-Yarrow et al., 1983, 1984; Spinrad & Fabes, 2009). The purpose of this thesis is to examine empathy in children from multiple perspectives. The scientific literature reviews the discovery of the mirror neuron system (MNS). A study on nine- and ten-year-old children showed a correlation between MNS activity and empathic concern (Pfeifer et al. 2008). Another study with a mean age of 11 demonstrated that high emotional intelligence (EI) resulted in more nominations for "cooperation" and less for "aggression" (Petrides, Sangareau, Furnham & Frederickson, 2006). The three most common EI tests (MSCEIT, TEIQue, Bar-On) are modeled to measure empathy (Bar-On, 2006; Goleman 1998, 1995; Mayer & Caruso 1997; Petrides & Furnham 2001). Psychologists agree that low measures are linked to narcissistic and aggressive behavior. The Observational Study analyzed both evidence of empathy and a lack of empathy in interactions with three- and four-year-old children. Personal experiences were also shared on how empathy was understood and practiced. Lastly, the children's short story was written to support empathy development through fiction-reading.

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Date Created
  • 2018-12

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Effects of Heroin on Prosocial Behavior in Rats and its Modulation by the Anterior Insula

Description

Opioid use rates and related deaths continue to be a public health crisis; while there are many contributing factors to opioid use disorders, criteria for diagnosis include problems related to

Opioid use rates and related deaths continue to be a public health crisis; while there are many contributing factors to opioid use disorders, criteria for diagnosis include problems related to social functioning. Previous research indicates that laboratory rats, which are frequently used as animal models of addiction-related behaviors, are capable of prosocial behavior. The following collection of studies were performed to determine the effects of heroin on prosocial behavior in rats, as well as the role of the insula in both self-administration of heroin and prosocial behaviors. All of the experiments were conducted utilizing an established model of prosocial behavior in rats in which a performing rat releases a cagemate from a restrainer. The occurrence of and latency to free the confined rat was recorded. After baseline rescuing behavior was established, rats were allowed to self-administer heroin (0.06 mg/kg/infusion i.v.), and subsequent experimental conditions were imposed.

Experimental conditions, in a series of different studies, included comparing heroin reinforcers with sucrose, chemogenetically modulating the insular cortex (both stimulatory and inhibitory processes) and administering excitotoxic lesions in the insula. There were significant differences in saving behaviors between heroin and sucrose groups demonstrating an opioid induced loss of prosocial behavior. Modulating the insula chemogenetically resulted in some restoration of these opioid related deficits, and insular lesions did not significantly impact prosocial behaviors, however, there were significant differences between rates of heroin intake in lesioned animals versus non-lesioned controls. Taken together, these results demonstrate the deleterious effects of heroin on prosocial behaviors and offer further support for the role of the insula in both addiction and social constructs.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Prosocial rescue behavior in pet dogs

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ABSTRACT

Domestic dogs have assisted humans for millennia. However, the extent to which these helpful behaviors are prosocially motivated remains unclear. To assess the propensity of pet dogs to spontaneously and

ABSTRACT

Domestic dogs have assisted humans for millennia. However, the extent to which these helpful behaviors are prosocially motivated remains unclear. To assess the propensity of pet dogs to spontaneously and actively rescue distressed humans, this study tested whether sixty pet dogs would release their seemingly trapped owners from a large box. To examine the causal mechanisms that shaped this behavior, the readiness of each dog to open the box was tested in three conditions: 1) the owner sat in the box and called for help (“Distress” test), 2) an experimenter placed high-value food rewards in the box (“Food” test), and 3) the owner sat in the box and calmly read aloud (“Reading” test).

Dogs were as likely to release their distressed owner as to retrieve treats from inside the box, indicating that rescuing an owner may be a highly rewarding action for dogs. After accounting for ability, dogs released the owner more often when the owner called for help than when the owner read aloud calmly. In addition, opening latencies decreased with test number in the Distress test but not the Reading test. Thus, rescuing the owner could not be attributed solely to social facilitation, stimulus enhancement, or social contact-seeking behavior.

Dogs displayed more stress behaviors in the Distress test than in the Reading test, and stress scores decreased with test number in the Reading test but not in the Distress test. This evidence of emotional contagion supports the hypothesis that rescuing the distressed owner was an empathetically-motivated prosocial behavior. Success in the Food task and previous (in-home) experience opening objects were both strong predictors of releasing the owner. Thus, prosocial behavior tests for dogs should control for physical ability and previous experience.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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The Predictors, Correlates, and Development of Children’s Prosocial Behavior toward Diverse Others

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Prosocial behavior refers to voluntary acts done to benefit another. To date, there is little work examining children’s prosocial behavior toward outgroup members. Across several multi-method multi-informant data sets, I

Prosocial behavior refers to voluntary acts done to benefit another. To date, there is little work examining children’s prosocial behavior toward outgroup members. Across several multi-method multi-informant data sets, I used various statistical methods (e.g., latent change score analysis, mediation and moderation analyses) to examine the predictors, correlates, and development of children’s prosocial behavior toward various outgroup members (e.g., gender, race). In Study 1, I examined the relation between preschoolers’ other-gender friendships and their prosocial behavior toward other-gender peers. Findings showed support for the hypothesis that cross-gender friendships are positively associated with children’s prosocial behavior toward other-gender peers over time. Further, children’s prosocial behavior toward other-gender peers positively predicted children’s later gender attitudes suggesting that fostering intergroup prosocial behavior could be a potentially effective solution to reduce intergroup prejudice. To capture the multifaceted nature of social identities, in Study 2, I examined children’s prosocial behavior toward various ingroup and outgroup members with the intention of exploring the degree of ingroup-ness and testing the transfer effect of intergroup contact. Findings showed that cross-gender friendships were positively predictive of school-age children’s prosocial behavior toward diverse others. Further, cross-race friendships are related to children’s diverse prosocial behavior indirectly through children’s race-based sympathy. Study 3 extended the previous two studies by testing both Intergroup Contact Theory and Social Identity Theory and taking into consideration the social identity of oneself (versus the targets of prosocial behavior). Specifically, I examined the central component of gender identity: children’s perceived same-gender similarity and other-gender similarity, as well as children’s same- and other-gender friendships. Results showed that only intergroup friendships, but not children’s gender identity, were related to children’s prosocial behavior toward same- and other-gender peers. In sum, this basic research has potential to shed light on ways to promote equity and inclusion across various social groups early in development.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Predicting empathy-related responding and prosocial behavior from dispositional sadness and effortful control

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The purpose of this study was to examine whether dispositional sadness predicted children's prosocial behavior, and whether empathy-related responding (i.e., sympathy, personal distress) mediated this relation. It was hypothesized that

The purpose of this study was to examine whether dispositional sadness predicted children's prosocial behavior, and whether empathy-related responding (i.e., sympathy, personal distress) mediated this relation. It was hypothesized that children who were dispositionally sad, but well-regulated (i.e., moderate to high in effortful control), would experience sympathy versus personal distress, and thus would engage in more prosocial behaviors than children who were not well-regulated. Constructs were measured across three time points, when children were 18-, 30-, and 42-months old. In addition, early effortful control (at 18 months) was investigated as a potential moderator of the relation between dispositional sadness and empathy-related responding. Separate path models were computed for sadness predicting prosocial behavior with (1) sympathy and (2) personal distress as the mediator. In path analysis, sadness was found to be a positive predictor of sympathy across time. There was not a significant mediated effect of sympathy on the relation between sadness and prosocial behavior (both reported and observed). In path models with personal distress, sadness was not a significant predictor of personal distress, and personal distress was not a significant predictor of prosocial behavior (therefore, mediation analyses were not pursued). The moderated effect of effortful control was significant for the relation between 18-month sadness and 30-month sympathy; contrary to expectation, sadness was a significant, positive predictor of sympathy only for children who had average and low levels of effortful control (children high in effortful control were high in sympathy regardless of level of sadness). There was no significant moderated effect of effortful control on the path from sadness to personal distress. Findings are discussed in terms of the role of sadness in empathy-related responding and prosocial behavior as well as the dual role of effortful control and sadness in predicting empathy-related responding.

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Date Created
  • 2012