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Relational, Cultural, Cognitive, and Affective Predictors of Prosocial Behaviors

Asiye Kumru, Gustavo Carlo, Carolyn Pope Edwards
2004; 19(54):109-128

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This research examined age group and gender differences in adolescent prosocial acts and the associations between these behaviors and peer and parent attachments, collectivistic values, prosocial moral reasoning, perspective taking, and empathy. In this study 550 adolescents (300 boys, 250 girls) from middle and high schools, and college with ages ranging 11-21.5 years (M=15.07, SD=2.50) were recruited from Ankara, Turkey. Results indicate that adolescents displayed compliant prosocial behavior most followed by emotional, anonymous, altruistic, and public prosocial acts. MANOVA analyses revealed that younger adolescents displayed more public and emotional prosocial acts while older adolescents showed more altruistic and anonymous behaviors boys were more likely to display public prosocial behavior, while girls were more likely to report emotional, compliant, and anonymous prosocial acts. Age and gender interactions for public and emotional behaviors were found. Finally, hierarchical regression analyses showed that public prosocial acts were predicted by peer attachment (negatively) and collectivistic values. Peer attachment, parent attachment (negatively), collectivistic values, and prosocial moral reasoning significantly predicted emotional prosocial behavior, but collectivistic values and prosocial moral reasoning negatively predicted altruistic behavior. Finally, peer attachment, collectivistic values, prosocial moral reasoning, and perspective taking positively predicted both compliant and anonymous prosocial acts.

Keywords: Prosocial, attachment, moral reasoning, perspective taking, empathy, adolescent