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Prosocial behavior within the family context and its correlates among Turkish early adolescents

Asiye Kumru, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The present study assessed adolescent prosocial behaviors toward parents, siblings, and grandparents and its correlates among Turkish early adolescents. The goals of the present study were fourfold. First, we examined age differences in adolescents' and their parents' reports of prosocial behaviors within the family. Second, gender differences in prosocial acts were explored. Third, we assessed the contribution of the three cognitive and affective variables, including perspective taking, prosocial moral reasoning, and empathy, to adolescent prosocial acts. Fourth, we examined the effects of parenting style and parent attachment on prosocial behaviors as well as on perspective taking, prosocial moral reasoning, and empathy. In the present study, we developed the Adolescent Prosocial Behavior Measure (APB) to assess different domains of Turkish adolescents' prosocial acts, including helpfulness, affection, sharing, and respect, toward parents, siblings, and grandparents. ^ In this study, 436 adolescents (227 girls, 209 boys; M age = 12.92, SD = .82, range 11.33–14.83), 335 mothers, and 309 fathers were recruited from Ankara, Turkey. Adolescents were asked to complete the measures of prosocial behavior, parenting style, parent attachment, prosocial moral reasoning, perspective taking, and empathy. All mothers and fathers completed a questionnaire about their adolescent's prosocial behavior within the family context. ^ The data revealed that younger age groups showed more prosocial and respect behaviors than older age groups. Also, girls were more prosocial toward all family members and showed more respect behavior toward mother and grandparents. Finally, findings of this study indicated that parenting style and parent attachment were significant predictors of adolescent prosocial and respect behaviors as well as perspective taking and empathic concern. Perspective taking and prosocial moral reasoning were positively associated to empathy. Also, perspective taking and empathy significantly contributed to adolescent prosocial and respect behaviors toward family members. The current findings suggest that early adolescents' prosocial and respect behaviors can be better understood from a relational perspective stressing the joint effects of the individual characteristics of adolescents and their parents as well as the qualities of their mutual relationships. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Psychology, Developmental|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Kumru, Asiye, "Prosocial behavior within the family context and its correlates among Turkish early adolescents" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3074086.