Childhood Roots of Dispositional Compassion

Project description

Despite growing interest in compassion, so far little is known about the developmental origins of compassion and how compassion can be increased for example through means of child care. This project will examine, in a longitudinal prospective data, the childhood developmental origins of adulthood dispositional compassion and how psychological and genetic factors interact in explaining individual variability in compassion.

The project uses a population-based, prospective Young Finns cohort study data with over 3500 subjects in the baseline who have been followed up regularly for 31 years from their childhood into adulthood.

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Project results

Publications (selected)

Saarinen, A. I. L., Keltikangas‐Järvinen, L., Honda, Y., Oksman, E., Raitakari, O., Pulkki‐Råback, L. & Hintsanen, M. (2019). Breastfeeding and offspring’s compassion and empathy in adulthood: A study with an over 30‐year follow‐up. Scandinavian journal of psychology, 61(2), pp. 227-236. doi:10.1111/sjop.12600

Saarinen, A. I. L., Keltikangas-Järvinen, L., Pulkki-Råback, L., Cloninger, C. R., Elovainio, M., Lehtimäki, T., Raitakari, O. & Hintsanen, M. (2019). The relationship of dispositional compassion with well-being: A study with a 15-year prospective follow-up. The journal of positive psychology, pp. 1-15. doi:10.1080/17439760.2019.1663251

Saarinen, A., Keltikangas-Järvinen, L., Cloninger, C. R., Veijola, J., Elovainio, M., Lehtimäki, T., Raitakari, O. & Hintsanen, M. (2019). The relationship of dispositional compassion for others with depressive symptoms over a 15-year prospective follow-up. Journal of affective disorders, 250, pp. 354-362. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2019.03.029

Hintsanen, M., Gluschkoff, K., Dobewall, H., Cloninger, C. R., Keltner, D., Saarinen, A., Wesolowska, K., Volanen, S., Raitakari, O. & Pulkki-Råback, L. (2019). Parent–child-relationship quality predicts offspring dispositional compassion in adulthood: A prospective follow-up study over three decades. Developmental psychology, 55(1), pp. 216-225. doi:10.1037/dev0000633


Mirka Hintsanen

Jutta Karhu

Jutta Karhu

PhD Student, Psychology