Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

June 2005


Published in Journal of Moral Education, Vol. 34, No. 2, June 2005, pp. 231–249. Copyright © 2005 Journal of Moral Education Ltd. Published by Routledge. Used by permission. DOI: 10.1080/03057240500127210


This study examined the hypothesis that religiosity would be differentially related to six types of adolescent prosocial behavior, and that these relations would be mediated by the prosocial value of kindness. Self-report data were collected from 142 high school students (63 per cent female; 91 per cent White; M age = 16.8, S =.80). Religiosity was a significant positive predictor of kindness, as well as compliant, anonymous and altruistic prosocial behavior, but not public, dire and emotional prosocial behavior. Associations between religiosity and both compliant and altruistic prosocial behaviors were mediated by kindness. Direct and indirect paths were found between religiosity and anonymous prosocial behavior. Thus, partial support was found for the mediational hypothesis. Discussion focused on the utility of distinguishing among different types of prosocial behaviors and on the role of religion and values in promoting moral education.