Episode Title

The Helping Kids! Podcast

Episode Description

Could children helping and sharing with members of diverse social groups be the seed to promoting greater peace and reconciliation across the island of Ireland?

Helping Kids! is an international lab, collecting data in five different countries (Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Republic of North Macedonia and Israel), exploring children’s intergroup empathy and prosocial behaviours framed by the Developmental Peacebuilding Model.

Join researchers at the Helping Kids! lab as they discuss how uncovering the developmental, individual, family, and contextual factors related to children’s empathy and helping behaviours could help to future-proof peace.

This episode will also feature interviews with Sara Singleton from the Dublin-based Think-Tank for Action on Social Change (TASC), and Lynn Johnston from the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE), both of whom will explore the potential societal impact of Helping Kids! research.

In this episode, researchers at the Helping Kids! Lab and members of our Local Advisory Committee (LAC) will discuss:

Introduction to the Helping Kids! Lab [00:07].

Bethany Corbett– How can we increase host-children’s empathy towards refugees? How does children’s awareness of symbols and labels influence their helping behaviour in divided societies?  [03:24].

Dearbháile Counihan- Children’s awareness of the Traveller community in Ireland- can children recognise cultural symbols when physical differences are not present? [10:25].

Laura K. Taylor- Promoting children’s inclusive peacebuilding in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland- how studying children’s early helping behaviours across group lines could be the seed to building a society that respects all identities and traditions across the island [15:08].

Isabelle Nic Craith- What does collecting data for Helping Kids! studies entail, and how can playing interactive games with kids have implications for a more harmonious society? [18:54].

Dean Polly– Day-to-day experience of working as a Helping Kids! Data Collection Assistant [21:50].

Lynn Johnston- The importance of integrated education for promoting peace and reconciliation across Northern Ireland, and the potential value of Helping Kids! research and tools for supporting the goals of NICIE [23:26].

Sara Singleton- How TASC works to transform research into action to promote greater reconciliation across the island of Ireland, and the societal impact of Helping Kids! for harnessing youth’s potential for future peacebuilding [31:07].

Funding and Acknowledgements [33:00].

Find out more about the Helping Kids! lab

Learn more about our Local Advisory Committe

References and Additional Resources

  • Taylor, L. K., & Glen, C. (2020). From empathy to action: Can enhancing host-society children’s empathy promote positive attitudes and prosocial behavior towards refugees? Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 30(2), 214-226.
  • Taylor, L.K., Dautel, J., & Rylander, R. (2020). Symbols and labels: Children’s awareness of social categories in a divided society. Journal of Community Psychology, 48(5), 1512-1526.
  • Counihan, D., Carol, S., & Taylor, L. K. (2022). Children’s awareness of ethnic outgroup symbols: Piloting an instrument in the Republic of Ireland. International Journal of PsychologyAdvance online publication.
  • Moran, D., & Taylor, L. K. (2021). Outgroup prosocial behaviour among children and adolescents in conflict settings. Current Opinion in Psychology, 44, 69-73.
  • Taylor, L.K. (2020). The Developmental Peacebuilding Model (DPM) of children’s prosocial behaviors in settings of intergroup conflict. Child Development Perspectives, 14(3), 127-134.
  • Taylor, L. K., Tomašić Humer, J., & Dautel, J. B. (2022). Predictors of outgroup empathy among children in a conflict-affected society. Children and Society, 36, 949– 967.
  • Shamoa-Nir, L., Razpurker-Apfeld, I., Dautel, J.B., & Taylor, L.K. (2020). Outgroup prosocial giving during childhood: The role of ingroup preference and outgroup attitudes in a divided society. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 45(4), 337–344. 
  • Taylor, L.K., Dautel, J., Maloku, E., & Tomovska Misoska, A. (2021). Children’s outgroup prosocial giving in settings of intergroup conflict: The developmental role of ingroup symbol preference. Developmental Psychology, 57(8), 1350–1358.
  • Tomovska Misoska, A., Taylor, L.K., Dautel, J.,& Rylander, R. (2020). Children’s understanding of ethnic group symbols: Piloting an instrument in the Republic of North Macedonia. Peace & Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 26(1), 82-87.
  • Lennon Malbasha, L., Dautel, J., & Taylor, L.K. (in press). Exploring children’s knowledge of Irish and European Symbols: A comparison of Gaelscoil and English-speaking primary school children. Irish Educational Studies.
  • Taylor, L.K., O’Driscoll, D., Dautel, J., & McKeown, S. (2020). Empathy to action: Child and adolescent outgroup attitudes and prosocial behaviors in a setting of intergroup conflict. Social Development, 29(2), 461-477.


Edited, mixed, and produced by Zach Deering:—x23