Prosocial behavior encompasses sympathetic, helpful, and caring responses toward others. Temperamental characteristics and experiences of child rearing are associated with children’s prosocial behavior. However, little research has examined the associations between prosocial behavior and either temperamental inhibition or paternal child rearing. This study examined the contributions of maternal and paternal parenting and inhibition at 2 years to displays of prosocial behavior toward mothers and unfamiliar adults by 46 male and 42 female preschoolers. There were no direct links between toddler inhibition or fathers’ parenting and prosocial behavior 2 years later, although protective maternal parenting predicted prosocial behavior. Toddlers’ inhibition and gender moderated the links between maternal parenting and prosocial behavior. Maternal parenting was most strongly predictive of the prosocial behavior of more highly inhibited girls, suggesting there may be temperament- and gender-specific pathways for the development of positive characteristics.
Hastings, Paul D.; Rubin, Kenneth H.; and DeRose, Laura
"Links Among Gender, Inhibition,
and Parental Socialization
in the Development of Prosocial Behavior,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 51
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol51/iss4/5