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The developmental relation between aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour: A 5-year longitudinal study


Obsuth, I; Eisner, M; Malti, T; Ribeaud, Denis (2015). The developmental relation between aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour: A 5-year longitudinal study. BMC Psychology, 3(1):16.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Past research has shown links between both children's aggressive behaviour and a lack of prosocial behaviour to later maladaptation. Both types of behaviours have also been identified as crucial in children's social and emotional development and later (mal)adaptation. However, little is known about the way they predict each other over time.
METHODS:
We utilised a large, ethnically diverse, longitudinal population sample of girls and boys (N = 1,334) to examine the bidirectional cross-lagged links between aggressive and prosocial domains of behaviour from age seven to eleven. Teacher, parent and child self-reports were utilised to assess aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour.
RESULTS:
The results revealed that aggressive behaviour measured one year predicted decreases in prosocial behaviour in the following year. Conversely, prosocial behaviour did not predict changes in aggressive behaviour in the subsequent year. Furthermore, peer difficulties were examined and found to be an important mediator of the link between aggressive and prosocial behaviour. Specifically, peer difficulties mediated the links between aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour one year later, particularly during the first three years of school attendance.
CONCLUSIONS:
Implications of the findings for the design of intervention strategies to reduce children's aggressive behaviour are discussed.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Past research has shown links between both children's aggressive behaviour and a lack of prosocial behaviour to later maladaptation. Both types of behaviours have also been identified as crucial in children's social and emotional development and later (mal)adaptation. However, little is known about the way they predict each other over time.
METHODS:
We utilised a large, ethnically diverse, longitudinal population sample of girls and boys (N = 1,334) to examine the bidirectional cross-lagged links between aggressive and prosocial domains of behaviour from age seven to eleven. Teacher, parent and child self-reports were utilised to assess aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour.
RESULTS:
The results revealed that aggressive behaviour measured one year predicted decreases in prosocial behaviour in the following year. Conversely, prosocial behaviour did not predict changes in aggressive behaviour in the subsequent year. Furthermore, peer difficulties were examined and found to be an important mediator of the link between aggressive and prosocial behaviour. Specifically, peer difficulties mediated the links between aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour one year later, particularly during the first three years of school attendance.
CONCLUSIONS:
Implications of the findings for the design of intervention strategies to reduce children's aggressive behaviour are discussed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:German
Date:2015
Deposited On:26 Jul 2019 12:26
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:20
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:2050-7283
Additional Information:131
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-015-0073-4
PubMed ID:26000166

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