Do Dictators Have the Most Friends? Prosocial Behaviors in Adolescents’ Social Networks.

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Prosocial behavior is an important part of adolescent social development and is linked to their social environment. This study investigated how adolescents’ prosocial behavior is associated with the behavior of peers and whether more sociometric popularity is related to prosocial behavior. Adolescents (N= 383, 12–16 years) of 19 secondary school classrooms nominated their friends in the classroom and played a dictator game in which they divided coins between themselves and a classmate. Multilevel Exponential Random Graph Modeling showed no evidence that adolescents’ prosocial behavior was similar to the behavior of their friends in the class nor that being more prosocial was associated with sociometric popularity. Exploratory analyses suggested that some self-reported prosocial tendencies (i.e., compliant, dire, emotional, and public prosocial behaviors) were related to the number of friendship nominations that adolescents sent or received. More work is needed to better understand prosocial behavior in adolescents, the individual benefits, and societal importance.

Jun 29, 2023 13:30 — 17:00
Thabo van Woudenberg
Thabo van Woudenberg
Post-doc Researcher/Scientific coordinator

My research interests include social networks, health, well-being, prosocial behavior and pro-environmental behavior.