The Relations of Children's Situational Empathy-related Emotions to Dispositional Prosocial Behaviour

Robin A. Holmgren, Nancy Eisenberg, Richard A. Fabes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although empathy-related responding has frequently been associated with prosocial behaviour directed towards the target of an individual's vicarious emotional responding, relations between dispositional prosocial behaviour and sympathy or personal distress have seldom been examined, particularly with a multimethod approach. Kindergarten to third-graders' empathy-related responses to a film were examined as predictors of dispositional prosocial behaviour as reported by teachers, parents, and peers. Teachers' ratings of dispositional behaviour were related to children's facial and skin conductance reactions to the film. Parents' and peers' ratings of dispositional prosocial behaviour were infrequently associated with children's empathy-related responding, although peer reports were positively related to heart rate acceleration for boys. Reasons for the differential patterns of relations for different reporters are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-193
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Volume22
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1998

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empathy
Emotions
emotion
parents
Parents
teacher rating
reporter
sympathy
kindergarten
Heart Rate
rating
Skin
teacher

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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