PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY IN EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED BOYS

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Abstract

Relationships between dimensions of problem behavior and observations of prosocial behavior were explored among a sample of emotionally disturbed boys. Results indicate that anxious/inhibited boys are more likely than less inhibited boys to engage in prosocial behavior. This may be due to their greater empathy in observing the needs of others or, alternatively, to an effort at ingratiation or an overreaction to social distress. The latter possibility suggests that prosocial behavior may reflect or compound the interpersonal difficulties of anxious/inhibited boys.

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