- Oxford Library of Psychology
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About the Editors
- The Landscape of Compassion: Definitions and Scientific Approaches
- Compassion in Context: Tracing the Buddhist Roots of Secular, Compassion-Based Contemplative Programs
- The Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis: What and So What?
- Is Global Compassion Achievable?
- Compassion in Children
- Parental Brain: The Crucible of Compassion
- Adult Attachment and Compassion: Normative and Individual Difference Components
- Compassion-Focused Parenting
- The Compassionate Brain
- Two Factors That Fuel Compassion: The Oxytocin System and the Social Experience of Moral Elevation
- The Impact of Compassion Meditation Training on the Brain and Prosocial Behavior
- Cultural Neuroscience of Compassion and Empathy
- Compassionate Neurobiology and Health
- The Roots of Compassion: An Evolutionary and Neurobiological Perspective
- Vagal Pathways: Portals to Compassion
- Empathy-Building Interventions: A Review of Existing Work and Suggestions for Future Directions
- Studies of Training Compassion: What Have We Learned; What Remains Unknown?
- The Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) Program
- Cognitively Based Compassion Training: Gleaning Generalities from Specific Biological Effects
- Compassion Collapse: Why We Are Numb to Numbers
- The Cultural Shaping of Compassion
- Enhancing Compassion: Social Psychological Perspectives
- Empathy, Compassion, and Social Relationships
- The Class–Compassion Gap: How Socioeconomic Factors Influence Compassion
- Changes Over Time in Compassion-Related Variables in the United States
- To Help or Not to Help: Goal Commitment and the Goodness of Compassion
- Self-Compassion and Psychological Well-being
- Compassion Fatigue Resilience
- Compassion Fears, Blocks and Resistances: An Evolutionary Investigation
- Organizational Compassion: Manifestations Through Organizations
- How Leaders Shape Compassion Processes in Organizations
- The Call for Compassion in Health Care
- A Call for Compassion and Care in Education: Toward a More Comprehensive Prosocial Framework for the Field
- Heroism: Social Transformation Through Compassion in Action
- Social Dominance and Leadership: The Mediational Effect of Compassion
Abstract and Keywords
Developmental psychologists have been increasingly interested in studying children’s “prosocial behavior,” defined as voluntary acts to benefit another. We begin this chapter by differentiating between empathy, sympathy, and personal distress reactions, arguing that compassion overlaps considerably with the construct of sympathy. Next, we focus on the normative development of children’s prosocial behavior and children’s empathy-related responses. Our empirical work also is reviewed, highlighting the differential associations of empathy, sympathy, and personal distress with children’s prosocial behavior. In addition, we discuss our work examining both dispositional and socialization factors that predict individual differences in children’s concern for others. We conclude by urging researchers to consider nuances in compassionate behaviors, such as studying the recipients of prosocial actions and different types of prosocial behaviors.
Tracy L. Spinrad T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona, USA
Nancy Eisenberg Department of Psychology Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona, USA
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