Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, 36:337

Two Sides of the Same Coin? The Relations between Prosocial and Physically Aggressive Behaviors

Origina Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10964-006-9095-9

Cite this article as:
McGinley, M. & Carlo, G. J Youth Adolescence (2007) 36: 337. 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 findings suggest that the relations between prosocial behaviors and aggression are complex and that prosocial behavior should not be treated as a unitary construct.


Prosocial behaviorsSympathyAggressionAdolescenceMethodology

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. graduate student in the Developmental Psychology program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include positive social and moral behaviors in children and adolescents and methodology. Department of PsychologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA