Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

June 2006


Published in Journal of Youth and Adolescence: A Multidisciplinary Research Publication (2006). Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006. Used by permission. DOI 10.1007/s10964-006-9095-9


The direct and indirect relations between six types of prosocial behavior and physical aggression were examined. Data were gathered from 252 college students (M age = 21.67 years; 184 women) who completed measures of sympathy, prosocial behavior, and physical aggression. Structural equation modeling revealed that sympathy fully mediated the relations between compliant prosocial behaviors and physical aggression, and partially mediated the relations between altruism and physical aggression and public prosocial behaviors and physical aggression. The fi ndings suggest that the relations between prosocial behaviors and aggression are complex and that prosocial behavior should not be treated as a unitary construct.