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We would like to invite you and your child to take part in a research project being conducted through the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, on the development of children’s positive behaviors. As you may know, at various times most children show various kinds of prosocial behaviors, like caring, sharing and helping. We are interested in learning about how these behaviors develop during early childhood, and what factors contribute to whether children engage in these behaviors less often or more often. This study should help us to understand how the development of positive behaviors can be encouraged in all children.

We have designed the Positive Emotions and Behaviors project in order to investigate this issue. In this study, we are looking at a number of characteristics of children and parents that might show us why children engage in these kinds of positive behaviors. Specifically, we are looking at children’s and parents’ cardiovascular arousal in response to social situations and other people’s emotions, and we are also looking at how parents raise their children.

For this project, we are looking for children who will be 3 and ½ years-old (42 – 45 months) during the first six months of 2010. Thus, children need to be born between April 2006 and October 2006. The study involves each child and his or her mother making two visits to our laboratory at UC Davis, with the visits spaced 6 months apart. We are also asking preschool teachers, daycare supervisors, or another adult who knows the child well to complete questionnaires describing children’s behaviors at daycare and preschool.