: Parents’ and Teachers’ Opinion About Preschool Children Reaction in a Problematic Situation

Understanding and responding to the emotional state of the other person in the form of prosocial behavior is an essential element of social behavior. Children who are able to understand emotions, have the ability of perspective-taking and motivated to intervene to the other person’s problemaic situation, can decrease the other’s negative affective state. The prosocial reactions of children to adults’ distress is widely studied but we don’t have enough information about reactions to a peer’s distress. The purpose of the study is to investigate preschool children’s reaction in the case of a peer’s negative affective state. These problematic situations are rarely seen through a research period, so I asked those people who are involved in children’s everyday life and have appropriate information about children’s behavior. In the research I used a self-developed questionnaire based on an earlier investigation (Phinney, Feshbach, & Farver, 1986) and asked parents (N=189) and teachers (N=26) about children’s reaction on a peer’s crying. I examined the differences between parents and teachers opinion, the appearance of the most frequent and the less typical responses, and analyzed the differences of these behaviors along some background variables. Results show that the opinion of the parents and the teachers are different in some cases but I discovered some consensus in the case of the background variables. The research can provide valuable information about preschool children’s prosocial behavior in those situations which appear less during a direct study in an institutional environment.

Keywords: prosocial behavior, distress, preschool, problem management

Year: 2019
Issue: 3-4
Page: 54-71
Dec 2019
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