Does prosociality in early- to mid-adolescence protect against later development of antisocial behaviors?

Lydia Speyer, Ingrid Obsuth, Manuel Eisner, Denis Ribeaud, Aja Louise Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Connections between prosociality and antisocial behaviors have been recognized; however, little research has studied their developmental links longitudinally. This is important to illuminate during early adolescence as a sensitive period for social development in which prosociality could protect against the development of later antisocial behaviors. This study investigates the within-person developmental links between prosociality and antisocial behaviors, as well as a potential mediating role of peer relationships, across ages 11, 13, and 15 (N=1526; 51% male) using random-intercept cross-lagged panel models. Results indicated that neither self-reported nor teacher-reported prosociality was associated with reduced aggressive behaviors but suggested a direct protective (‘promotive’) effect of teacher-reported prosociality on bullying perpetration. These findings suggest that promoting prosociality in early adolescence may help reduce some antisocial behaviors over early to mid- adolescent development. Improving prosociality could be explored as a target in intervention approaches such as school-based anti-bullying interventions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Early online date13 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Nov 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • antisocial behaviors
  • prosociality
  • peer problems
  • bullying perpetration
  • developmental cascades
  • z-proso

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