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Young Children's Prosocial Behavior Protects Against Academic Risk in Neighborhoods With Low Socioeconomic Status

Mon, April 12, 2:50 to 4:20pm EDT (2:50 to 4:20pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Early Education and Child Development Paper and Symposium Sessions


We investigated whether children’s prosocial behavior buffers concurrent and subsequent academic risk in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Bradford, UK. Diverse children (N = 1,175) were followed from before birth to age seven, with measurements taken at four time points. We used governmental indexes of neighborhood adversity, teachers observations of prosocial behaviors, and direct assessments of academic achievement. Neighborhood SES was positively associated with lower academic achievement only among children who displayed low levels of prosocial behavior. Findings were robust to sensitivity and sub-group analyses. Prosocial behavior may mitigate early academic risk in contexts of neighborhood disadvantage.