Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.
Prosocial development from childhood to adolescence: a multi-informant perspective with Canadian and Italian longitudinal studies
Article first published online: 12 JAN 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 50, Issue 5, pages 590–598, May 2009
How to Cite
Nantel-Vivier, A., Kokko, K., Caprara, G. V., Pastorelli, C., Gerbino, M. G., Paciello, M., Côté, S., Pihl, R. O., Vitaro, F. and Tremblay, R. E. (2009), Prosocial development from childhood to adolescence: a multi-informant perspective with Canadian and Italian longitudinal studies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50: 590–598. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.02039.x
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2009
- Article first published online: 12 JAN 2009
- Manuscript accepted 15 September 2008
- Prosocial behaviours;
- longitudinal analysis
Objectives: To longitudinally describe prosocial behaviour development from childhood to adolescence, using multiple informants within Canadian and Italian samples.
Method: Participants in Study 1 were 1037 boys from low socioeconomic status (SES) areas in Montreal, Canada, for whom yearly teacher and mother reports were obtained between the ages of 10 and 15. Participants in Study 2 were 472 children (209 girls) from Genzano, Italy, for whom yearly self and teacher reports were obtained between the ages of 10 and 14. Developmental trajectories were estimated from ratings by each informant to identify subgroups of children following distinct courses of prosocial development.
Results: In Study 1, three trajectory groups (low/declining 53%, high/declining 16%, high/steep declining 31%) were identified from teacher ratings, while five trajectories (low/stable 7%, low/declining 19%, moderate/stable 41%, high/declining 24%, high/stable 9%) were identified from mother ratings. Small but significant associations were observed between mother and teacher ratings. In Study 2, three trajectory groups (low/stable 9%, moderate/stable 50%, high/stable 42%) were identified from self-ratings, while four trajectory groups (low/stable 8%, moderate/declining 48%, high/declining 37%, increasing 7%) were identified from teacher ratings. Small but significant associations were observed between self- and teacher ratings.
Conclusions: The present studies investigated levels of prosocial behaviours from childhood to adolescence, using a multi-informant, cross-cultural perspective. All but one of the developmental trajectories identified were characterised by stable or declining levels of prosocial behaviours. Further research longitudinally investigating prosociality across developmental periods is needed to clarify prosocial behaviour development over time.