Research published in the journal PLOS ONE reports that nine- to 12-year-olds who perform kind acts are not only happier, but find greater peer acceptance.
The authors write that “a simple and relatively brief pro-social activity can increase liking among classmates. Given the relationship between peer acceptance and many social and academic outcomes, we think these findings have important implications for the classroom.”
In the study, researchers randomly assigned over 400 students ages nine to 12 to two groups: one group performed “acts of kindness” and the other kept track of pleasant places they visited each week.
Results showed that children who performed the kind acts were happier than the other group and found greater peer acceptance.