The development of prosociality among christian Arab children in Israel: The role of children's household religiosity and of the recipient's neediness

Hagit Sabato, Tehila Kogut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the development of sharing behavior of children (aged 6 to 12) within the unique, minority population of Christian Arab children in Israel (N = 319). Children had the opportunity to share candy with a needy or non-needy recipient. Parents' level of religiosity was assessed using the Duke University Religion Index questionnaire (DUREL). Results replicate previous research that focused primarily on the majority populations of the societies in question, by demonstrating an overall increase in the incidence of sharing with age. Furthermore-as previously found among the majority of Jewish children in Israel-the recipient's neediness moderated the association between household religiosity and sharing, such that religiosity predicted greater levels of sharing only when the recipient was described as "poor" (a child whose parents have little money), not when the prospective recipient was not specified as such. Finally, the neediness of the recipient increased the incidence of sharing regardless of age, suggesting that in this unique minority population, sensitivity to the recipient's neediness emerges already at the age of 6. We discuss possible mechanisms behind this developmental pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1509-1517
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Volume56
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Children's sharing behavior
  • Minority populations
  • Neediness
  • Prosocial development
  • Religiosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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