Children's Other-Oriented Behaviors in Distress Situations

Sayoko Yamaguchi, Wakako Sanefuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-328
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 3 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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