ERIC Number: EJ694298
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Reference Count: 61
Age Changes in Prosocial Responding and Moral Reasoning in Adolescence and Early Adulthood
Eisenberg, Nancy; Cumberland, Amanda; Guthrie, Ivanna K.; Murphy, Bridget C.; Shepard, Stephanie A.
Journal of Research on Adolescence, v15 n3 p235-260 Sep 2005
Age changes' measures of prosocial responding and reasoning were examined. Participants' reports of helping, empathy-related responding, and prosocial moral reasoning were obtained in adolescence (from age 15-16 years) and into adulthood (to age 25-26 years). Perspective taking and approval/interpersonal orientedstereotypic prosocial moral reasoning increased from adolescence into adulthood, whereas personal distress declined. Helping declined and then increased (a cubic trend). Prosocial moral judgment composite scores (and self-reflective empathic reasoning) generally increased from late adolescence into the early 20s (age 17-18 to 21-22) but either leveled off or declined slightly thereafter (i.e., showed linear and cubic trends); rudimentary needs-oriented reasoning showed the reverse pattern of change. The increase in self-reflective empathic moral reasoning was for females only. Thus, perspective taking and some aspects of prosocial moral reasoning--capacities with a strong sociocognitive basis--showed the clearest increases with age, whereas simple prosocial proclivities (i.e., helping, sympathy) did not increase with age.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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