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Dev Psychol. 2016 Jan;52(1):130-42. doi: 10.1037/dev0000067. Epub 2015 Nov 30.

Developmental change in social responsibility during adolescence: An ecological perspective.

Author information

1
Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester.
2
Search Institute.
3
Civil Society and Community Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Abstract

Social responsibility can be defined as a set of prosocial values representing personal commitments to contribute to community and society. Little is known about developmental change-and predictors of that change-in social responsibility during adolescence. The present study used an accelerated longitudinal research design to investigate the developmental trajectory of social responsibility values and ecological assets across family, school, community, and peer settings that predict these values. Data come from a 3-year study of 3,683 U.S. adolescents enrolled in upper-level elementary, middle, and high schools in rural, semiurban, and urban communities. Social responsibility values significantly decreased from age 9 to 16 before leveling off in later adolescence. Family compassion messages and democratic climate, school solidarity, community connectedness, and trusted friendship, positively predicted within-person change in adolescents' social responsibility values. These findings held after accounting for other individual-level and demographic factors and provide support for the role of ecological assets in adolescents' social responsibility development. In addition, fair society beliefs and volunteer experience had positive between- and within-person associations with social responsibility values. The manuscript discusses theoretical and practical implications of the conclusion that declines in ecological assets may partly explain age-related declines in social responsibility values. (PsycINFO Database Record.

PMID:
26619322
PMCID:
PMC5634966
DOI:
10.1037/dev0000067
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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