Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

April 2007


Published in Journal of Research on Adolescence, 17:2 (April 2007)), pp. 301-324. Copyright © 2007, Society for Research on Adolescence; published by Blackwell Publishing. Used by permission.


The present study was designed to investigate stability and changes in pro-social behavior and the parent and peer correlates of prosocial behavior in rural adolescents. Participants were from a rural, low SES community in the Eastern United States. The participants were in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades at Time 1 and 10th, 11th, and 12th grades at Time 4, and completed measures of prosocial behavior and quality of parent and peer relationships. Latent growth curve modeling revealed that despite moderate stability in individual differences in prosocial behavior and slight increases in quality of peer and parent relationships, level of prosocial behavior declined until late high school with a slight rebound in grade 12. Furthermore, increases in the quality of peer relationships predicted decreases in prosocial behavior for girls but not boys. Discussion focuses on continuity and change in prosocial behavior and the gender-based relations between quality of parent and peer relationships and prosocial behaviors in adolescence.