Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of preschool learning environments on the frequency of prosocial behaviors. The analyses were conducted according to gender, age, and whether the activity was child-chosen or teacher-imposed. The behaviors for analysis included responding prosocially to verbal massages from other children, engaging in cooperative play, attending to cries and pleas of others, and commenting on behavior of others when potentially dangerous. The data were gathered through nonparticipant observations, teacher interviews, and a behavior checklist. Nonparametric statistical analyses were used to analyze the data. Results indicated that older girls were more likely to exhibit prosocial behaviors than all boys regardless of learning center, and younger boys were more likely to increase prosocial behaviors during teacher-imposed activities than any other group. In addition, the art center had a significantly higher mean number of prosocial acts than other centers. The findings yielded an archive of direct social behavior observations across situations and over repeated occasions. The research method allowed me to investigate the natural organization of the children's behavior without the usual reliance on self reports and tester-created situations. Based on these results, the researcher offered theoretical propositions for future research to test the relationship between preschool learning environments and prosocial behaviors.


Education | Sociology