Shyness and Social Conflict Reduce Young Children's Social Helpfulness

Jonathan S. Beier, Brandon F. Terrizzi, Amanda M. Woodward, Emma G. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study examined social influences on 3-year-old children's decisions to help an experimenter gain another person's attention (N = 32). Children were slower to help the experimenter when the target had previously expressed disinterest in attending to her. Shy children were less likely to support the experimenter's attempts to communicate with the target; however, this association was not influenced by children's knowledge of the target's disinterest, and there was no relation between shyness and children's support for a separate physical goal. Therefore, young children's decisions to act helpfully incorporate consideration for others beyond a focal person with an unmet need, and they are further constrained by children's own comfort with the actions required to help.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1922-1929
Number of pages8
JournalChild development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.


Dive into the research topics of 'Shyness and Social Conflict Reduce Young Children's Social Helpfulness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this