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Enhancing Children's Prosocial Behavior in the Classroom

Daniel Solomon, Marilyn S. Watson, Kevin L. Delucchi, Eric Schaps and Victor Battistich
American Educational Research Journal
Vol. 25, No. 4 (Winter, 1988), pp. 527-554
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1163128
Page Count: 28
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Enhancing Children's Prosocial Behavior in the Classroom
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Abstract

A program designed to enhance children's prosocial development was conducted in three suburban elementary schools for 5 consecutive years, focusing primarily on a single cohort of children as it moved from kindergarten through fourth grade. Repeated observations were conducted each year to assess program implementation and student interpersonal behavior in classrooms in the three "program" schools and in three "comparison" schools. Analyses of these observational data revealed significantly higher scores in the program than the comparison classrooms on each of five indices of program-relevant activities and practices: Cooperative Activities, Developmental Discipline, Activities Promoting Social Understanding, Highlighting Prosocial Values, and Helping Activities. Further analyses indicated that students in program classrooms scored significantly higher on two indices of interpersonal behavior: Supportive and Friendly Behavior and Spontaneous Prosocial Behavior. Corroborative data from a second, 2-year cohort in the same schools is also presented. Implications of these findings for educational practices that emphasize supportive teacher-student relationships and the provision of opportunities for student decision-making, autonomy, and collaborative interaction are discussed.

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