MP logo MP title

László Kasik : The developmental level of social interest-realization abilities at the age of 4, 8, 11 and 17

International surveys agree that cooperation, help, competition and leadership (social interest-realization abilities) are all important factors for both the individual’s inner balance and for a satisfactory social co-existence. The aim of the research was to investigate abilities of social interest-realization in Hungarian children aged 4–17 years. Subject were 242 children from 5 kindergartens and 10 schools. The size of subsamples was approximately the same. The functioning of social interest-realization abilities was assessed dimension-wise with a Likert-type questionnaire (for children and teachers) developed by our research group, based on a socioanthropological, human ethological and social psychological background. The questionnaires alike had high reliability indices (0.81–0.93). Based on student questionnaires it may be said that – as far as cooperation and competition is concerned – the two older age groups are more competitive and cooperative than the two younger groups. At the same time, the comparison of 11- and 17- year-olds yielded no significant differences. In contrast to this, 4- and 8-year-olds turned out to be more helpful, and they more often aspired to take the lead in a group taking the others’ interests into consideration. Such gender differences are to be found especially in the 11-year-old and 17-year-old group, as follows: boys are more cooperative and competitive, while girls exhibit a more dominant tendency toward help and leadership. Social interest-realization abilities are highly interwined, even in the youngest. For instance, we find a positive correlation between help and leadership, and between cooperation and competition in all age groups.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 108. Number 2. 149-193. (2008)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Kasik László, Szegedi Tudományegyetem Neveléstudományi Intézet, H–6722 Szeged, Petőfi Sándor sgt. 30–34.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia