Vacation camps develop altruistic behavior in children. This conclusion comes from a study conducted by researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) with the participation of 256 children aged 6 to 16 years.

The study highlights an increase in the level of altruism among children returning from camp, unlike those who did not participate in this type of stay during their vacation, notes UNIGE in a press release on Monday. . The results of this research are published in the journal PLOS ONE.

A total of 256 children participating or not in a camp answered a questionnaire. Among the questions asked: “How much would you help a stranger find their way?'” or “How much would you help a classmate with their homework?”. Response options ranged from “never” to “very often” on a five-point scale.

The children had to answer these questions twice: at the beginning of the camp period and at the end of it. The responses of the 145 children who went to camp were compared with those of the 111 children in the “control” group who did not participate in this type of activity. These revealed an increase in the level of altruism in the former and a decrease in it in the latter.

The results of this exploratory study demonstrate the usefulness of summer camps as a tool for developing socio-emotional skills. They indicate that the context of these camps, even on stays of 10 to 15 days, has an influence on these skills by increasing altruistic intentions.