Children’s other-oriented behaviors in distress situations, when observed, appear to be different depending on the kind of distress situations. The authors investigated developmental differences in children’s other-oriented behaviors by comparing two distress situations: participant-caused/other-victim and other-caused/participant-victim situations. The kinds of other-oriented behaviors younger and older children engaged in were observed under an experimental setting—two tasks that involved accidentally collapsing the object the other constructed. The results showed that other-oriented behaviors were observed irrespective of age and situations. However, the developmental changes of these behaviors were different between the two situations: Older children showed more kinds of other-oriented behaviors than younger children did in the participant-caused situation, whereas no differences between ages were observed in the participant-victim situation. Other-oriented behaviors toward the victim when the participants were at fault appeared to develop during the preschool years, whereas other-oriented behaviors toward those responsible for participants’ distress appeared to be difficult for preschoolers. The developmental origin of and changes in other-oriented behaviors in cases when children are victims should be further investigated, in additional age groups, as should the influence of cultural context.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies