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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

MA in Child Development


Child Development Graduate Program


This thesis explores early socialization experiences of toddler twins throughout their first classroom experiences. Unlike the single children in the class, the twins brought with them the experience of an age peer who had been a constant presence in their lives. The classroom setting allowed their social interactions to be observed in a consistent routine and with consistent classmates. Observations were made over the course of a yearlong twice a week two’s program. The focus of this thesis is on the early development of empathy and prosocial behavior. The decision was made to focus on these qualities in response to the negative ‘terrible twos’ reputation commonly attributed to toddlers, and to highlight just one element of the positive growth and development that occurs during the toddler stage. This thesis examines two pairs of dizygotic (fraternal) twins through the contexts of their experiences with their twin and with the other children in the class. This thesis also reflects on the educational question of whether it is appropriate to separate twins for schooling or to keep them in the same class.