How socialization goals and peer social climate predict young children's concern for others: Evidence for a development shift between 2 and 4 years of age
Schmerse D., Hepach R.
© 2020 The Authors. Social Development published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd Children's concern for others is shaped through socialization, but current theories make different predictions as to how and when in development this socializing occurs. Here we found that mothers' prosocial socialization goals (SGs) predicted concern for others in 2-year-old (n = 804) and 4-year-old (n = 714) children. In contrast, preschool teachers' SGs predicted concern for others only for 4-year-old children. In addition, a positive social climate among classroom peers predicted 4-year-olds' prosociality. These results suggest that the nuclear family environment impacts toddlers' concern for others before the broader social environment shapes their prosociality at preschool age.