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Preschoolers' desire understanding and its relation to prosocial behavior

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Title: Preschoolers' desire understanding and its relation to prosocial behavior
Author: Martinez, Nicole
Advisor: Cassidy, Kimberly E.
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Psychology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 215303 bytes125398 bytes
Issue Date: 2003
Abstract: Theory of mind in humans allows for communication, interaction and socialization. Through the development of a theory of mind children understand first that others have desires, and after this an understanding of belief develops, resulting in a complete theory of mind. The present study investigates the desire portion of theory of mind and its relationship to the amount and quality of prosocial behaviors preschool children engage in, as measured by teachers and parents. Prosocial behavior and desire understanding were significantly correlated, when prosocial actions were rated by teachers, while parent ratings of prosocial behavior were not related to levels of desire understanding. The effects of age, gender and classroom designation on prosocial behavior and desire understanding are examined and implications for future research are discussed.
Subject: Helping behavior in children
Subject: Social skills in children
Subject: Interpersonal relations in children
Subject: Early childhood education
Subject: Desire -- Psychological aspects
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Martinez, Nicole. "Preschoolers' desire understanding and its relation to prosocial behavior". 2003. Available electronically from

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