Prosocial behavior is a hallmark of social competence across the life span. It reflects voluntary actions intended to benefit others, such as sharing, cooperating, helping, comforting, and caring. Prosocial behavior is believed to be multiply determined, having biological, psychological, and environmental roots. The consequences of prosocial actions are wide-ranging, including the development of positive interpersonal relationships, providing the foundation for effective child-rearing, and promoting the integrity and cohesion of social groups over time. Although tendencies to behave in prosocial ways appear to be relatively stable across the life span, most studies have been conducted on school-aged children. During this period, displays of prosocial behavior have been related positively to a number of social and cognitive outcomes, including social acceptance by peers, friendship formation, teacher–student ...

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