Social Development

Skip to Search

Skip to Navigation

Early View Articles

Bidirectional relations among empathy‐related traits, prosocial moral reasoning, and prosocial behaviors

Abstract This study examined the longitudinal links among empathic concern, perspective taking, prosocial moral reasoning, and prosocial behaviors. Four hundred and seventeen adolescents (225 girls; Mage = 14.70 years) from public schools in Spain completed measures of those constructs in three successive years. Path analyses showed support for the notion that empathic concern and prosocial moral reasoning accounted for the relations between perspective taking in earlier adolescence and later altruistic and public forms of helping. Moreover, there was support for a reverse causal model such that empathic concern and prosocial moral reasoning mediated the relations between altruistic (but not public) helping behaviors in earlier adolescence and later perspective taking. The implications for cognitive developmental and social cognitive theories of prosocial development were discussed.

Add This link

Bookmark and Share>