Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


Date of this Version

Spring 4-9-2013

Document Type



Acar, Ibrahim H. (2013). Predictors of Preschool Children's Peer Interactions: Temperament and Prosocial Behavior. MS Thesis, University of Nebraska.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Child, Youth, & Family Studies, Under the Supervision of Professor Julia C. Torquati. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Ibrahim H. Acar


The current study was a correlational study that examined children’s temperament (inhibitory control and shyness) and prosocial behavior as predictors of preschool-aged children’s peer interactions. The current study also examined the moderating effects of inhibitory control and shyness on relation between children’s prosocial behavior and peer interactions. Participants were 40 children (19 boys) aged from three to five enrolled in eight different preschools in a Midwestern city. It was hypothesized that children’s prosocial behavior and temperament (inhibitory control and shyness) would be correlated with preschool children’s peer interactions, operationalized as sociability, communication, assertiveness, conflict, and a composite peer interactions domain. Results revealed that there was not a significant association between prosocial behavior and peer interactions. However, there was a significant difference between boys and girls on prosocial behavior, with girls scoring higher than boys on average. Prosocial behavior did not significantly differ by age. Inhibitory control was inversely correlated with conflict. Children’s shyness was significantly and negatively correlated with conflict. Results also revealed that there was no moderating effect of inhibitory control and shyness on the relation between prosocial behavior and peer interactions. Limitations of the current study and future directions are also discussed.

Adviser: Julia C. Torquati