Development of Cooperation and Help-Seeking Activities

An Action Theoretical Approach
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (BLSC, volume 31)


Within the large literature dealing with prosocial behavior in children and adults the same few key concepts are often employed in radically different ways. The term prosocial behavior is sometimes meant in a narrow or restricted sense to include only such behaviors as helping and/or altruistic behavior (cf. Bar-Tal, Raviv, and Leiser, 1980), being kind or helpful or reacting empathically (cf. Chandler & Helm, 1980), and also in a much wider sense that includes such behaviors as “sharing, helping, defending, sympathy, rescuing, Cooperation, and others” (Yarrow & Waxler, 1976, p. 118). The ränge of subtopics treated within this literature is equally wide and, among other things, deals with (1) the development of prosocial behavior (cf. Bar-Tal et al., 1980; Mussen and Eisenberg-Berg, 1977); (2) the conditions under which it is evidenced (cf. Pearl, 1979; Yarrow and Waxler, 1976); (3) the types of helping behavior judged to be required by the Situation (Chandler & Helm, 1980); and (4) even with whether altruism is an integral part of human nature (Hoffman, 1981).


Prosocial Behavior Stated Goal Goal Attainment Perspective Taking Altruistic Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Developmental PsychologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamthe Netherlands
  2. 2.District Health ServiceHeerlenthe Netherlands

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