Children spontaneously help others since the first years of life. Helping behaviors define actions intended to assist someone in goal-directed efforts, for instance instrumental helping and informing. Some abilities, such as social cognition (e.g. affective and cognitive perspective taking) and language skills, are thought to influence the occurrence of helping behaviors. However, research that examines these relations in early childhood is lacking. Hence, the purpose of this work was to shed light on the roles of social cognition and receptive language on the frequency of helping behaviors. Children were 149 Italian 2- and 3-year-olds recruited by childcare centers and kindergartens in Northern Italy. They were administered the Affect Knowledge Test (AKT) for emotion knowledge, a battery of two theory-of mind tasks (Diverse-desire task and True Belief task), and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) for receptive language. Further, they were observed for spontaneous helping behaviors acted towards peers in the school context, using an observation grid specifically developed to detect prosocial behaviors (i.e. helping, sharing, and comforting behaviors). Results showed that children's abilities of affective and cognitive perspective taking, together with the receptive vocabulary, were significant determinants of the frequency of helping behaviors. An exploratory mediation analysis revealed that children's receptive language played an important role in explaining this type of prosocial action. Because of the influence of social cognition and language skills on the occurrence of prosocial helping behaviors, efforts in educational and school contexts should be addressed to the promotion of these competences since toddlerhood

Conte, E., Grazzani, I. (2017). Helping behaviors in early childhood: The role of social cognition and language. Intervento presentato a: European Conference on Developmental Psychology (ECDP) August 29 to September 1, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Helping behaviors in early childhood: The role of social cognition and language

CONTE, ELISABETTA;GRAZZANI, ILARIA
2017

Abstract

Children spontaneously help others since the first years of life. Helping behaviors define actions intended to assist someone in goal-directed efforts, for instance instrumental helping and informing. Some abilities, such as social cognition (e.g. affective and cognitive perspective taking) and language skills, are thought to influence the occurrence of helping behaviors. However, research that examines these relations in early childhood is lacking. Hence, the purpose of this work was to shed light on the roles of social cognition and receptive language on the frequency of helping behaviors. Children were 149 Italian 2- and 3-year-olds recruited by childcare centers and kindergartens in Northern Italy. They were administered the Affect Knowledge Test (AKT) for emotion knowledge, a battery of two theory-of mind tasks (Diverse-desire task and True Belief task), and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) for receptive language. Further, they were observed for spontaneous helping behaviors acted towards peers in the school context, using an observation grid specifically developed to detect prosocial behaviors (i.e. helping, sharing, and comforting behaviors). Results showed that children's abilities of affective and cognitive perspective taking, together with the receptive vocabulary, were significant determinants of the frequency of helping behaviors. An exploratory mediation analysis revealed that children's receptive language played an important role in explaining this type of prosocial action. Because of the influence of social cognition and language skills on the occurrence of prosocial helping behaviors, efforts in educational and school contexts should be addressed to the promotion of these competences since toddlerhood
No
abstract + slide
prosocial behaviors, social cognition, language, early childhood
English
European Conference on Developmental Psychology (ECDP) August 29 to September 1
Conte, E., Grazzani, I. (2017). Helping behaviors in early childhood: The role of social cognition and language. Intervento presentato a: European Conference on Developmental Psychology (ECDP) August 29 to September 1, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Conte, E; Grazzani, I
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/167260
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