Effectiveness of Prosocial Behavior Interventions: A Meta-analysis

  • Belén MesuradoEmail author
  • Paulina Guerra
  • María Cristina Richaud
  • Lucas Marcelo Rodriguez


Prosocial behavior is a voluntary act intended to help or benefit another individual or group of individuals (Eisenberg, Mussen. The roots of prosocial behavior in children. Cambridge University Press; 1989). Several studies have shown that prosocial behavior inhibits aggressive behavior. Most intervention programs in psychology focus on reducing dysfunctional behavior, but interventions aimed to promote positive behaviors are not as frequent. The objective of this meta-analysis is to examine the effects of prosocial behavior interventions in promoting prosocial behavior and reducing aggressive behavior. We included studies that implemented a prosocial behavior intervention on children and adolescents, which were carried out inside or outside of the school schedule and were published in Spanish, English, or Portuguese. Moreover, it only included studies that utilized a randomized controlled design. The impact of the interventions in promoting prosocial behavior and reducing aggressive behaviors was assessed. Following a thorough selection of studies to include in this meta-analysis, ten were chosen since they met inclusion criteria determined by the protocol. The results indicate that intervention programs promoting prosocial behavior have a moderate effect while for the prevention of aggressive behaviors have high effectiveness levels. These results would be providing empirical evidence on the usefulness and effectiveness of these programs from a positive viewpoint prone to strengthen positive resources.


Prosocial behavior Prosociality Aggression Intervention Treatment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belén Mesurado
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paulina Guerra
    • 2
  • María Cristina Richaud
    • 3
  • Lucas Marcelo Rodriguez
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Centre for Research in Mathematical and Experimental PsychologyAustral University, National Council of Scientific and Technical ResearchBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigaciones en Psicología Matemática y Experimental (CIIPME)- Consejo Nacional de InvestigacionesCientíficas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Interdisciplinary Centre for Research in Mathematical and Experimental PsychologyNational Council of Scientific and Technical ResearchBuenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Interdisciplinary Centre for Research in Mathematical and Experimental Psychology “Dr. oracio J. A. Rimoldi” (CIIPME), National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET)ParanáArgentina
  5. 5.Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Values, Integration and Social Development, Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina (UCA)ParanáArgentina

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