The Relations of Children's Dispositional Prosocial Behavior to Emotionality, Regulation, and Social Functioning

Nancy Eisenberg, Richard Fabes, Mariss Karbon, Bridget C. Murphy, Marek Wosinski, Lorena Polazzi, Gustavo Carlo, Candy Juhnke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

194 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the relations of a measure of children's dispositional prosocial behavior (i.e., peer nominations) to individual differences in children's negative emotionality, regulation, and social functioning. Children with prosocial reputations tended to be high in constructive social skills (i.e., socially appropriate behavior and constructive coping) and attentional regulation, and low in negative emotionality. The relations of children's negative emotionality to prosocial reputation were moderated by level of dispositional attentional regulation. In addition, the relations of prosocial reputation to constructive social skills and parent-reported negative emotionality (for girls) increased with age. Vagal tone, a marker of physiological regulation, was negatively related to girls' prosocial reputation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)974-992
Number of pages19
JournalChild development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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