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Home arrow News arrow Loving Parent-Child Bond Shapes Kids' Kindness

Loving Parent-Child Bond Shapes Kids' Kindness

HealthReporter author Nadzeya Sankovich
Written by Nadzeya Sankovich
Last update: October 10, 2023
1 min read 573 Views 0 Comments
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Loving Parent-Child Bond Shapes Kids' Kindness

Key Takeaways

  • University of Cambridge study reveals that kids with a strong bond with their parents at age three are more likely to grow up displaying kindness, empathy, and generosity.
  • Close relationships with parents not only reduce mental health issues in childhood but also enhance “prosocial” behaviors – actions benefiting others.

A new study from the University of Cambridge suggests that children who share a close relationship with their parents at age three are more likely to grow up being kind and helpful. 

The research, based on data from more than 10,000 people in the UK, indicates that early emotional connections with parents contribute significantly to developing positive behaviors like empathy and generosity.

The study found that children who had warm and loving relationships with their parents at age three not only experienced fewer mental health problems in their early years but also displayed more prosocial tendencies

Prosocial behaviors include acts of kindness, empathy, helpfulness, generosity, and volunteering.

Numbers and Insights

The study revealed that when the closeness between parents and a child was better than what’s normal at age three, the child became about 0.24 times more kind and helpful by the time they reached adolescence.

Conversely, children who experienced emotionally strained or abusive relationships with parents were less likely to develop prosocial habits over time.

The researchers also explored the link between mental health and prosocial behavior. Although prosocial children generally had better mental health, it may require sustained efforts integrated into the curriculum rather than one-shot interventions to encourage them.

Why It’s Important to You

You can make a big difference in your child’s future kindness and helpfulness by building a close bond with them early on. During challenging times for your child’s emotional development, make sure you’re there for them.


  1. Katsantonis, I., & McLellan, R. (2023). The role of parent–child interactions in the association between mental health and prosocial behavior: Evidence from early childhood to late adolescence. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 0(0).
  2. Young children who are close to their parents are more likely to grow up kind, helpful and ‘prosocial’. (2023, October 9). University of Cambridge.
Written by Nadzeya Sankovich
Nadzeya Sankovich is the Vice President of Communications at Health Reporter. Previously a professional journalist, she continues to write scientific articles and conduct research. With a background in sociology and medicine, she has worked with various healthcare organizations, from charities to telemedicine platforms.

Nadzeya is also a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and a volunteer for a non-profit organization that helps underserved communities. Through her work, she empowers people to take charge of their health and well-being.
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