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dc.contributor.advisorTaumoepeau, Mele
dc.contributor.advisorRuffman, Ted
dc.contributor.authorAitken, Jessica Susan
dc.date.available2019-05-08T04:30:57Z
dc.date.copyright2019
dc.identifier.citationAitken, J. S. (2019). From Goal- to Emotion-based Helping: The Interactive Roles of Toddlers’ Social Understanding and Connectedness of Parental Mental State Talk (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/9294en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/9294
dc.description.abstractThis longitudinal study examined the development of instrumental and empathic helping behaviours as they emerged in toddlerhood, and assessed how child self-concept and the connectedness of parental mental state discourse (whether parent comments relate to what the child is doing or saying) might influence this progression. The current study also examined the possible bidirectionality of established links between parental mental state talk (MST) and children’s responses to others in need. Seventy-two children (14–25-months at T1) and their primary caregivers were assessed over four monthly sessions. At all sessions, children’s responses to an adult in need were assessed via three simulated problems (instrumental interrupted-goal, sadness, and pain), with a range of helping and non-helping responses coded. At Times 1 and 3, child self-concept was tested using Amsterdam’s (1972) mirror task and the UCLA Self-understanding questionnaire. At Times 2 and 4, content and connectedness of parental MST was assessed via a free play task. Participants’ individual response patterns showed instrumental helping to be a necessary precursor to empathic helping for 55.77% –67.92% of children who helped during the study. Self-recognition was a prerequisite for sadness and pain helping. Overall, parental MST showed positive links to later child helping and empathic concern and negative links to personal distress (fearfulness or crying), and connected MST was more beneficial for children’s empathetic responding. Child helping in the instrumental task and personal distress in the empathic tasks at Time 2 were positively associated with Time 4 parental MST, whereas child social referencing during Time 2 helping tasks was negatively associated with Time 4 parental MST, indicating children’s responses to others in need cause parents to adjust their later MST. Working within a social constructionist framework, I propose children’s early engagement in goal-based helping provides an environment in which parental MST that is responsive to children’s current level of sociocognitive understanding scaffolds increasingly complex and other-oriented prosociality.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectprosocial behaviour
dc.subjecthelping behaviour
dc.subjectself-concept
dc.subjectmental state language
dc.subjecttoddlers
dc.subjectchildren
dc.subjectmind-mindedness
dc.subjectresponsive parenting
dc.titleFrom Goal- to Emotion-based Helping: The Interactive Roles of Toddlers’ Social Understanding and Connectedness of Parental Mental State Talk
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2019-05-08T03:46:03Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychology
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
otago.openaccessOpen
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