Kindness: a perspective from developmental psychology.

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  • Author(s): Malti, Tina ()
  • Source:
    European Journal of Developmental Psychology. Sep2021, Vol. 18 Issue 5, p629-657. 29p.
  • Additional Information
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      This article introduces a developmental perspective on kindness. The central goal is to posit a new framework for the study of kindness and its development. From an ethical perspective, kindness can be considered a virtue. It reflects emotions, cognitions, and inner states that convey a particular gentleness and benevolence. These orientations can be directed towards others, such as expressing concern for a needy other, or directed towards the self, such as being gentle with oneself. Therefore, the proposed approach suggests a distinction between self- and other-orientedness and delineates the development of the affective, cognitive, and behavioural components of kindness across the first two decades of life. This developmental model of kindness lays the groundwork for a more complete understanding of the human capacity for prosociality across development. It provides new means for developing interventions that aim to nurture every child's kindness and help them reach their full potential. The model assumes that intervention efforts will be beneficial at nurturing kindness when they a) acknowledge that the balance between self- and other-oriented tendencies is beneficial to remain healthy and contribute to a greater good, b) are developmentally sensitive, and c) enhance multiple facets of kindness in the child and in the environment. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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