Dilalla, L. et al. (2015). Evidence of reactive gene-environment correlation in preschoolers’ prosocial play with unfamiliar peers. Developmental Psychology, 51(10), 1464-1475.
The study in the article had the objective of identifying genetic and environmental influences with regards to prosocial behaviors in children. This study did not have a specific research question but entailed four hypotheses. The first hypothesis was that there is a significant genetic influence on both temperament and prosocial behaviors. The second hypothesis was that children’s approach temperament had a correlation with their interaction behaviors. The third hypothesis postulated that approachable temperament and prosocial behaviors would evoke similar behaviors among children. The final hypothesis was that gene-environment correlation would be prevalent in the study. The study attempted to show these aspects by involving 126 5-year old twin and sibling pairs. Based on the reports provided by the parents, 4% were Black, 94.8% were White, and 1.2% were either biracial or Hispanic. The participants were recruited through postings, newspaper listings, and referrals. The measures conducted for the study were zygosity, child withdrawal/approach and play interaction behaviors. The main findings show that there is a significant genetic influence on behaviors. The study also revealed that a peer’s positive behavior had a positive correlation with the target. There was also evidence of gene-environment correlation. All the findings of the study supported the hypotheses made by the authors. The article is related to the course content in a variety of ways. Among them is the role that the environment plays in shaping the behaviors of children. They tend to grasp whatever is presented to them; be it good or bad. That is why children from violent families end up adopting such traits as they grow-up. One strength that the article holds is that it provides parents with significant insight on how the environment can affect their children. Positive parenting can culminate to positive behaviors while negative parenting results to negative behavior. The limitations of the study include the fact the study has included 5-year olds only. The research should have aimed at examining these aspects as the children age, in order to find out whether there are any differences.
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