Asking a child for help

Peter Druian1, Bella M. De Paulo2
1University of Virginia, United States
2Grinnell College, United States
Cite this article:  Druian, P., & De Paulo, B. M. (1977). Asking a child for help. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 5(1), 33-40.

Volume 5 Issue 1 | e173 | Published: February 1977 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1977.5.1.33

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In an investigation of help-requesting behavior, 26 college-age subjects were given a spelling test during which approximately half could ask for help from a child, the rest from a same-aged adult. Though both helpers were presented as equally competent spellers, subjects asked for help less frequently from the child than from the adult. This reluctance to ask a child for help appeared to be due to embarrassment at requesting help from a social inferior. Results were discussed in terms of further research on the role of embarrassment and perceived status in help-seeking interactions.
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