Investigation of the mechanisms that promote prosocial action and curb aggressive behavior can inform the development of targeted approaches to fostering children's prosocial skills and reducing their aggressive outbursts. The aim of this study was to examine the role of sympathy as a crucial intervening variable between both emotion regulation and emotional lability/negativity, and prosocial and aggressive conduct. Participants were 1045 primary-school aged Italian children (M = 8.57, SD = 0.78). We adopted a multi-informant approach and used structural equation modeling to examine the relationships among these constructs. We found that emotion regulation was associated with children's prosocial behaviors, both directly and via sympathy. Meanwhile, emotion lability/negativity was strongly related to children's aggressive behavior, but not via sympathy. Thus, promoting sympathy may act more to encourage prosocial conduct than to mitigate aggression. These findings confirm the importance of offering school-based social and emotional learning programs.

Vecchio, G.M., Zava, F., Cattelino, E., Zuffianò, A., Pallini, S. (2023). Children's prosocial and aggressive behaviors: The role of emotion regulation and sympathy. JOURNAL OF APPLIED DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, 89, 101598 [10.1016/j.appdev.2023.101598].

Children's prosocial and aggressive behaviors: The role of emotion regulation and sympathy

Vecchio, Giovanni Maria
;
Zava, Federica;Cattelino, Elena;Pallini, Susanna
2023-01-01

Abstract

Investigation of the mechanisms that promote prosocial action and curb aggressive behavior can inform the development of targeted approaches to fostering children's prosocial skills and reducing their aggressive outbursts. The aim of this study was to examine the role of sympathy as a crucial intervening variable between both emotion regulation and emotional lability/negativity, and prosocial and aggressive conduct. Participants were 1045 primary-school aged Italian children (M = 8.57, SD = 0.78). We adopted a multi-informant approach and used structural equation modeling to examine the relationships among these constructs. We found that emotion regulation was associated with children's prosocial behaviors, both directly and via sympathy. Meanwhile, emotion lability/negativity was strongly related to children's aggressive behavior, but not via sympathy. Thus, promoting sympathy may act more to encourage prosocial conduct than to mitigate aggression. These findings confirm the importance of offering school-based social and emotional learning programs.
2023
Vecchio, G.M., Zava, F., Cattelino, E., Zuffianò, A., Pallini, S. (2023). Children's prosocial and aggressive behaviors: The role of emotion regulation and sympathy. JOURNAL OF APPLIED DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, 89, 101598 [10.1016/j.appdev.2023.101598].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/453847
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