MEANINGFUL CHANGE: APPROACHING PHYSICIAN TRAINEE WELL-BEING THROUGH EVIDENCE-BASED INDIVIDUAL, STRUCTURAL, AND SYSTEMS-LEVEL INITIATIVES [Meeting Abstract]
THE ART OF DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING SUCCESSFUL SCHOLARLY ACTIVITY PROGRAMS IN CHILD PSYCHIATRY FELLOWSHIPS FOR TRAINEES AND FACULTY [Meeting Abstract]
"Help Yourself!" What Can Toddlers' Helping Failures Tell Us About the Development of Prosocial Behavior?
Prosocial behavior emerges in the second year of life, yet it is typical for children in this period not to share, comfort, or help. We compared toddlers (18, 30months) who helped with those who did not help on two tasks (instrumental helping; empathic helping). More than half of children failed to help on one or both tasks. Nonhelpers engaged in more hypothesis testing on the instrumental helping task, but more security-seeking, wariness, and playing on the empathic helping task. Across tasks, children who tended to engage in nonhelping behaviors associated with negative emotional arousal also tended to seek comfort from a parent. In contrast, children who tended to play instead of helping were less likely to exhibit negative emotional arousal or hypothesis testing, suggesting a focus on their own interests. Parents of 18-month-old nonhelpers on the instrumental task were less engaged in socializing prosocial behavior in their toddlers than were the parents of helpers. On the empathic helping task, 18-month-old nonhelpers had less mature self-other understanding than did helpers. By examining how the predominant reasons for failing to help vary with age and task, we gain a fuller perspective on the factors involved in the early development of prosocial behavior
Helping the One You Hurt: Toddlers' Rudimentary Guilt, Shame, and Prosocial Behavior After Harming Another
This study explored the role of guilt and shame in early prosocial behavior by extending previous findings that guilt- and shame-like responses can be distinguished in toddlers and, for the first time, examining their associations with helping. Toddlers (n = 32; Mage = 28.9 months) were led to believe they broke an adult's toy, after which they exhibited either a guilt-like response that included frequently confessing their behavior and trying to repair the toy; or a shame-like response that included frequently avoiding the adult and seldom confessing or attempting to repair the toy. In subsequent prosocial tasks, children showing a guilt-like response helped an adult in emotional distress significantly faster and more frequently than did children showing a shame-like response.
Explicit scaffolding increases simple helping in younger infants
Infants become increasingly helpful during the second year. We investigated experimentally whether adults' explicit scaffolding influences this development. Infants (N = 69, 13-18 months old) participated in a series of simple helping tasks. Half of infants received explicit scaffolding (encouragement and praise), whereas the other half did not. Among younger infants (below 15 months), infants who received explicit scaffolding helped twice as often as infants in the control group, and also helped more on several subsequent trials when no scaffolding was provided. As predicted, older infants were not affected by explicit scaffolding. These results demonstrate the influence of social experiences in early helping, but also how the effects of scaffolding may depend on the developmental level of the child. Less explicit forms of scaffolding may be effective when children are older. (PsycINFO Database Record
Development of Body Part Vocabulary in Toddlers in Relation to Self-Understanding
To better understand young children's ability to communicate about their bodies, toddlers' comprehension and production of 27 common body part words was assessed using parental report at 20 and 30 months (n = 64), and self-awareness was assessed using mirror self-recognition. Children at both ages comprehended more body part words that referred to themselves than to others' bodies, and more words referring to locations that they could see on themselves than to those they could not see. Children with more advanced mirror self-recognition comprehended and produced more body part words. These findings suggest that with age and better understanding of the self, children also possess a better understanding of the body, and they provide new information about factors that affect how young children begin to talk about their own and others' bodies. They should be useful for practitioners who need to ask children about their bodies and body parts.
Early socialization of prosocial behavior: Patterns in parents' encouragement of toddlers' helping in an everyday household task
Patterns in parents' socialization of prosocial behavior in 18- and 24-month-olds (n=46) were investigated during an everyday household chore that parents were asked to complete with their toddlers. Two socialization approaches were distinguished, one focused on specific requests for concrete actions needed to complete an immediate, concrete goal ("action-oriented"), and a second focused on the more abstract needs and emotions of the parent and the child's role as a helper ("need-oriented'). Parents were equally active at both ages in trying to elicit children's help but used different strategies with younger and older toddlers. With 18-month-olds they used more action-oriented approaches, whereas with 24-month-olds they increased their use of need-oriented approaches. They also regulated the attention of younger toddlers more, and more often socially approved older toddlers' helping. Thus, how parents prompt, support, and encourage prosocial behavior changes over the second year from utilizing primarily concrete, goal-directed requests in the service of the immediate task, to increasingly emphasizing more abstract needs and emotions of the recipient and the child's role as a helper.
Individual differences in toddlers' social understanding and prosocial behavior: disposition or socialization?
We examined how individual differences in social understanding contribute to variability in early-appearing prosocial behavior. Moreover, potential sources of variability in social understanding were explored and examined as additional possible predictors of prosocial behavior. Using a multi-method approach with both observed and parent-report measures, 325 children aged 18-30 months were administered measures of social understanding (e.g., use of emotion words; self-understanding), prosocial behavior (in separate tasks measuring instrumental helping, empathic helping, and sharing, as well as parent-reported prosociality at home), temperament (fearfulness, shyness, and social fear), and parental socialization of prosocial behavior in the family. Individual differences in social understanding predicted variability in empathic helping and parent-reported prosociality, but not instrumental helping or sharing. Parental socialization of prosocial behavior was positively associated with toddlers' social understanding, prosocial behavior at home, and instrumental helping in the lab, and negatively associated with sharing (possibly reflecting parents' increased efforts to encourage children who were less likely to share). Further, socialization moderated the association between social understanding and prosocial behavior, such that social understanding was less predictive of prosocial behavior among children whose parents took a more active role in socializing their prosociality. None of the dimensions of temperament was associated with either social understanding or prosocial behavior. Parental socialization of prosocial behavior is thus an important source of variability in children's early prosociality, acting in concert with early differences in social understanding, with different patterns of influence for different subtypes of prosocial behavior.
Here, there and everywhere: emotion and mental state talk in different social contexts predicts empathic helping in toddlers
A growing body of literature suggests that parents socialize early-emerging prosocial behavior across varied contexts and in subtle yet powerful ways. We focus on discourse about emotions and mental states as one potential socialization mechanism given its conceptual relevance to prosocial behavior and its known positive relations with emotion understanding and social-cognitive development, as well as parents' frequent use of such discourse beginning in infancy. Specifically, we ask how parents' emotion and mental state talk (EMST) with their toddlers relates to toddlers' helping and how these associations vary by context. Children aged 18- to 30-months (n = 38) interacted with a parent during book reading and joint play with toys, two everyday contexts that afford parental discussion of emotions and mental states. Children also participated in instrumental and empathic helping tasks. Results revealed that although parents discuss mental states with their children in both contexts, the nature of their talk differs: during book reading parents labeled emotions and mental states significantly more often than during joint play, especially simple affect words (e.g., happy, sad) and explanations or elaborations of emotions; whereas they used more desire talk and mental state words (e.g., think, know) in joint play. Parents' emotion and mental state discourse related to children's empathic, emotion-based helping behavior; however, it did not relate to instrumental, action-based helping. Moreover, relations between parent talk and empathic helping varied by context: children who helped more quickly had parents who labeled emotion and mental states more often during joint play and who elicited this talk more often during book reading. As EMST both varies between contexts and exhibits context-specific associations with empathic prosocial behavior early in development, we conclude that such discourse may be a key form of socialization in emerging prosociality.
From cleaning up to helping out: parental socialization and children's early prosocial behavior
Relations between parental socialization and infants' prosocial behavior were investigated in sixty three 18- and 30-month old children. Parents' socialization techniques (e.g., directives, negotiation, reasoning) differed for the two age groups, as did relations between socialization and different forms of emerging prosocial behavior (helping; sharing).