[[abstract]]The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the social responses of May, a 14 years old junior high school student with mental retardation, and the interaction between her prosocial behavior and contextual factors. Observations and interviews were adopted to collect data. Her prosocial behavior achieved her chronological age level in the following four areas: helping, concern, sharing and cooperation. Resource room was an important context for the occurrence of May’s prosocial behavior. Three categories of contextual cues in the resource room were identified to promote May’s prosocial social behavior: (a) environment-related cues, (b) receivers-related cues, and (c) cues related to May’s personal preference. Some of May’s personality traits, such as being friendly, activeness, good-temper, kindness and fondness for her friends, also had a positive impact on her prosocial behavior. Following the occurrence of May’s prosocial behavior, social reactions from the receivers or onlookers were identified and categorized into four groups: expression, acceptability, resistibility, and reinforcement. Praise from the teachers and positive reactions from the peers (e.g. smiling face or other behaviors that showed acceptability) were found to facilitate May’s prosocial behavior. However, prosocial behavior decreased when the teacher corrected May’s mistakes and people refused her prosocial behavior. Suggestions and implications were provided for on-site teachers and future research.
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