Children's prosocial behavior and personal distress are likely affected by children's temperament as well as parenting quality. In this study, we examined bidirectional relations from age 30 to 42 months between children's (N = 218) prosocial or self-focused (presumably distressed) reactions to a relative stranger's distress and both supportive emotion-related maternal reactions to children's emotions and children's shyness/inhibition. When controlling for 30-month prosocial behavior and personal distress behavior, maternal supportive (emotion-focused and problem-focused) reactions were positively related to prosocial behavior and marginally negatively related to children's personal distress behaviors and shyness/inhibition at 42 months. Thirty-month personal distress behavior predicted greater shyness/inhibition at 42 months, and 30-month shyness/inhibition was negatively related to prosocial behavior at 30 months.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology