Telling kids to be kind to others also benefits themselves, says a study in PLOS ONE. In a rigorous long-term investigation, the researchers shows that
an intervention program can encourage children’s prosocial behavior. Moreover, doing good for others improves peer popularity.
- Intervention programs can encourage prosocial behavior in children.
- Encouraging prosocial behavior improves children’s popularity among peers.
Is encouraging prosocial behavior in tweens related to increases in well-being and peer popularity?
415 9- to 11-years olds (mean age = 10.6 years)
Every week over the course of four weeks, children were instructed to perform three acts of kindness. Kind acts included “give your mom a hug when she is stressed” and “give someone some of your lunch”.
Before and after the intervention, students filled out a questionnaire assessing their life satisfaction, happiness, and positive feelings. Moreover, children were asked to name the classmates they liked.
- After the intervention, children reported higher life satisfaction, happiness, and more positive feelings.
- Children who performed kind acts received more peer nominations, gaining an average of 1.5 friends.
Kristin Layous, S. Katherine Nelson, Eva Oberle, Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl, & Sonja Lyubomirsky
Layous, Nelson, and Lyubomirsky are connected to the Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside, California, United States of America. Oberle and Schonert-Reichl are both affiliated with the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Kindness counts: Prompting prosocial behavior in preadolescents boosts peer acceptance and well-being
Rebecca N. H. de Leeuw
de Leeuw, R. N. H. (2013, November 12). Promoting prosocial behavior in tweens boosts well-being and popularity. Bitescience. Retrieved [date], from http://www.bitescience.com/knowledgedatabase.aspx