Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

February 2003


Published in Journal of Early Adolescence 23:1 (Feb 2003), pp. 107-134 DOI: 10.1177/0272431602239132 Copyright © 2003 Sage Publications. Used by permission.


The present study was designed to examine the psychometric properties of a multidimensional measure of prosocial behaviors to use with early adolescents and middle adolescents. One hundred thirty-eight students (X age = 15.8 years; 80 girls; 70% White, non-Hispanic) from a public middle school and high school completed measures of prosocial moral reasoning, sympathy, perspective taking, aggression, ascription of responsibility, social desirability, verbal skills, and a revised prosocial tendencies measure (PTM-R). The questionnaires were completed in two sessions each separated by a 2-week time span (to assess test-retest reliability of the PTM-R). Moreover, teacher ratings of adolescents’ generosity and helpfulness toward others were obtained. Analyses were conducted separately for early adolescents and middle adolescents and results showed adequate reliability and evidence of validity for PTM-R. Discussion focused on individual differences in prosocial behaviors among early adolescents and middle adolescents and the need to differentiate among differing types of prosocial behaviors.