Compassion is linked with individual well-being, but its early origins, especially in the context of caregiving, remain poorly understood. Using a cohort of 323 Finnish individuals followed prospectively from the age of 3 to the age of 35, we examined whether care arrangements at ages 3 and 6 are associated with dispositional compassion in adulthood. Participants’ parents provided data on early child care arrangements (home care, family care, or center-based care), and dispositional compassion was self-reported when the participants were 20, 24, and 35 years old. Multilevel modeling was applied to examine the association between early care and compassion, adjusting for the correlation between repeated measures within participants and several potential confounders. Our results showed that care arrangements at age 6, but not at age 3, were independently predictive of compassion later in life. When joint effects of different care arrangements that covered both ages 3 and 6 were examined, above average scores on adulthood compassion were observed among participants in home care at age 3 and center-based care at age 6. Characteristics of early care appear to contribute to the development of compassion with effects that persist into adult life.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by Academy of Finland projects 258578 and 308676 (MH), Academy of Finland project 265869 (L.K-J.), and Signe & Ane Gyllenberg Foundation (MH).
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd
- Care arrangements
- Personality development