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date: 14 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The experience of empathy and its related responses has been an important topic in developmental research. In this chapter, we review findings involving the socialization correlates of empathy-related responding (i.e., empathy, sympathy, personal distress) and prosocial behavior. In particular, we discuss several potential ways that parents foster children’s prosocial tendencies. The focus is on parental warmth, inductions, modeling, and emotion socialization processes. We briefly consider complexities in the research, such as potential moderators (e.g., children’s characteristics, culture) of the relations of parenting to children’s empathy and moral behavior and the potential for bidirectional relations. Recommendations for future directions in research focusing on the socialization of moral emotions are made. Future directions for research are proposed.

Keywords: empathy, sympathy, personal distress, warmth, discipline, modeling, emotion socialization, prosocial behavior, moral behavior, bidirectional relations

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