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The Development of Prosocial Behavior versus Nonprosocial Behavior in Children

  • Nancy Eisenberg
  • Paul Miller

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to review factors related to behavior in children that is egoistic, selfish, and lacking in prosocial elements. There is, however, little research in which the primary intent of the investigator was to study such behavior; most researchers concerned with children’s negative moral behavior have focused upon delinquency, aggression, dishonesty, and lack of resistance to temptation, but not upon selfishness and related behaviors (Hoffman, 1970; Parke & Slaby, 1983). Nonetheless, there is considerable information available concerning our topic—information embedded in the large and fast-growing literature concerning the development and maintenance of prosocial behavior (i.e., voluntary behavior intended to benefit another), including altruistic behavior (i.e., voluntary behavior intended to benefit another which is not motivated by the expectation of external reward; Eisenberg, 1982; Staub, 1978).

Keywords

Prosocial Behavior Moral Reasoning Altruistic Behavior Selfish Behavior Parent Discipline 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy Eisenberg
    • 1
  • Paul Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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