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The Development of Prosocial Behavior and Cognitions in German Children

Eisenberg, Nancy; Boehnke, Klaus; Schuhler, Petra; Silbereisen, Rainer K.

The development of German children's moral reasoning about prosocial conflicts, and the interrelations of moral reasoning and prosocial behavior were examined. Hedonistic reasoning decreased in usage from the preschool years to fourth grade; direct reciprocity, needs-oriented, approval/ interpersonal, and reasoning involving references to others' humanness increased with age. The pattern of development was strikingly similar to that of an American sample of the same age. However, German children used more direct reciprocity and less stereotypic reasoning than did American children. As has been found for American children, sharing behavior but not helping was related to level of moral judgment. The results are discussed in relation to theory and the existing research concerning prosocial development in America.
Published in: Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 10.1177/0022002185016001006, SAGE Publications
  • Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
  • This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.