Empathy in the peer-group. When being empathic may be not enough to behave prosocially: A study among early-adolescents

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We explored the relations between affective and cognitive components empathy and early-adolescents’ prosocial behavior, when the effects of status among peers and prestige norms are controlled for. Prestige norms were also examined as possible moderators of the associations between empathy and prosocial behaviors. 925 Chilean fourth to sixth graders (49.9% girls) answered self-report scales assessing empathy, and peer-nomination items assessing cooperating and being nice (active and passive forms of prosocial behaviors), being popular, well-liked, admired, and cool. Prestige norms for the prosocial behaviors were computed as the average association of peer reported likeability, perceived popularity, coolness and admiration, with cooperating and being nice by classroom. Data were longitudinal. The affective component of empathy was associated to behaving prosocially, also after controlling for the effects of peer-group dimensions. Furthermore, among boys some prestige norms increased the strength of the association between cognitive empathy and behaving prosocially. Results are discussed in light of possibilities for the intervention to promote early-adolescents’ prosocial behavior by focusing on the distinct components of empathy in association to peer-group dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication17th European Conference of Developmental Psychology (Proceedings)
Pages33-38
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event17th European Conference of Developmental Psychology - Braga (Portogallo)
Duration: 8 Sep 201512 Sep 2015

Conference

Conference17th European Conference of Developmental Psychology
CityBraga (Portogallo)
Period8/9/1512/9/15

Keywords

  • adolescence
  • empathy
  • peer relationships
  • prosocial behavior

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