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The developmental relation between aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour: A 5-year longitudinal study.

Obsuth I, Eisner MP, Malti T, Ribeaud D - BMC Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: Both types of behaviours have also been identified as crucial in children's social and emotional development and later (mal)adaptation.However, little is known about the way they predict each other over time.Implications of the findings for the design of intervention strategies to reduce children's aggressive behaviour are discussed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Site, Cambridge, CB3 9DA UK.

ABSTRACT

Background: Past research has shown links between both children's aggressive behaviour and a lack of prosocial behaviour to later maladaptation. Both types of behaviours have also been identified as crucial in children's social and emotional development and later (mal)adaptation. However, little is known about the way they predict each other over time.

Methods: We utilised a large, ethnically diverse, longitudinal population sample of girls and boys (N = 1,334) to examine the bidirectional cross-lagged links between aggressive and prosocial domains of behaviour from age seven to eleven. Teacher, parent and child self-reports were utilised to assess aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour.

Results: The results revealed that aggressive behaviour measured one year predicted decreases in prosocial behaviour in the following year. Conversely, prosocial behaviour did not predict changes in aggressive behaviour in the subsequent year. Furthermore, peer difficulties were examined and found to be an important mediator of the link between aggressive and prosocial behaviour. Specifically, peer difficulties mediated the links between aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour one year later, particularly during the first three years of school attendance.

Conclusions: Implications of the findings for the design of intervention strategies to reduce children's aggressive behaviour are discussed.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Autoregressive cross-lagged model of the association between prosocial behaviour and aggressive behaviour, including mediation by peer difficulties.Note: Not displayed are pathways controlling for the effects of treatment as pictured in Figure 1 and residual correlations. All of these were estimated as described in the data analytic plan. The dotted lines represent the influences by peer difficulties; paths a1, a2, and a3 represent the influence of aggression at time t on peer difficulties at time t+1; paths b1, b2, and b3 represent the influence of peer difficulties at time t on prosocial behaviour at time t. Paths c1, c2, and c3 represent the direct influence of aggressive behaviour at time t on prosocial behaviour at time t+1.
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Fig2: Autoregressive cross-lagged model of the association between prosocial behaviour and aggressive behaviour, including mediation by peer difficulties.Note: Not displayed are pathways controlling for the effects of treatment as pictured in Figure 1 and residual correlations. All of these were estimated as described in the data analytic plan. The dotted lines represent the influences by peer difficulties; paths a1, a2, and a3 represent the influence of aggression at time t on peer difficulties at time t+1; paths b1, b2, and b3 represent the influence of peer difficulties at time t on prosocial behaviour at time t. Paths c1, c2, and c3 represent the direct influence of aggressive behaviour at time t on prosocial behaviour at time t+1.

Mentions: Finally, nested mediation models were tested to assess the influence of peer difficulties on the association between prosocial and aggressive behaviour at each cross-lag (see Figure 2). Specifically, a model in which the paths from and to peer difficulties were restrained (no mediation) was compared to a model, in which these paths were free to vary (or account for variance). These final models were only tested utilising the teacher reported data for several reasons. First, the reports about peer difficulties were provided by the teachers based on their observation of the children in the classroom, based on which they also rated their engagement in aggressive and prosocial behaviours. Furthermore, some research suggests that teacher reports of behaviour at school are more reliable than those of children (e.g., Ladd and Profilet 1996).Figure 2


The developmental relation between aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour: A 5-year longitudinal study.

Obsuth I, Eisner MP, Malti T, Ribeaud D - BMC Psychol (2015)

Autoregressive cross-lagged model of the association between prosocial behaviour and aggressive behaviour, including mediation by peer difficulties.Note: Not displayed are pathways controlling for the effects of treatment as pictured in Figure 1 and residual correlations. All of these were estimated as described in the data analytic plan. The dotted lines represent the influences by peer difficulties; paths a1, a2, and a3 represent the influence of aggression at time t on peer difficulties at time t+1; paths b1, b2, and b3 represent the influence of peer difficulties at time t on prosocial behaviour at time t. Paths c1, c2, and c3 represent the direct influence of aggressive behaviour at time t on prosocial behaviour at time t+1.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4440499&req=5

Fig2: Autoregressive cross-lagged model of the association between prosocial behaviour and aggressive behaviour, including mediation by peer difficulties.Note: Not displayed are pathways controlling for the effects of treatment as pictured in Figure 1 and residual correlations. All of these were estimated as described in the data analytic plan. The dotted lines represent the influences by peer difficulties; paths a1, a2, and a3 represent the influence of aggression at time t on peer difficulties at time t+1; paths b1, b2, and b3 represent the influence of peer difficulties at time t on prosocial behaviour at time t. Paths c1, c2, and c3 represent the direct influence of aggressive behaviour at time t on prosocial behaviour at time t+1.
Mentions: Finally, nested mediation models were tested to assess the influence of peer difficulties on the association between prosocial and aggressive behaviour at each cross-lag (see Figure 2). Specifically, a model in which the paths from and to peer difficulties were restrained (no mediation) was compared to a model, in which these paths were free to vary (or account for variance). These final models were only tested utilising the teacher reported data for several reasons. First, the reports about peer difficulties were provided by the teachers based on their observation of the children in the classroom, based on which they also rated their engagement in aggressive and prosocial behaviours. Furthermore, some research suggests that teacher reports of behaviour at school are more reliable than those of children (e.g., Ladd and Profilet 1996).Figure 2

Bottom Line: Both types of behaviours have also been identified as crucial in children's social and emotional development and later (mal)adaptation.However, little is known about the way they predict each other over time.Implications of the findings for the design of intervention strategies to reduce children's aggressive behaviour are discussed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Site, Cambridge, CB3 9DA UK.

ABSTRACT

Background: Past research has shown links between both children's aggressive behaviour and a lack of prosocial behaviour to later maladaptation. Both types of behaviours have also been identified as crucial in children's social and emotional development and later (mal)adaptation. However, little is known about the way they predict each other over time.

Methods: We utilised a large, ethnically diverse, longitudinal population sample of girls and boys (N = 1,334) to examine the bidirectional cross-lagged links between aggressive and prosocial domains of behaviour from age seven to eleven. Teacher, parent and child self-reports were utilised to assess aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour.

Results: The results revealed that aggressive behaviour measured one year predicted decreases in prosocial behaviour in the following year. Conversely, prosocial behaviour did not predict changes in aggressive behaviour in the subsequent year. Furthermore, peer difficulties were examined and found to be an important mediator of the link between aggressive and prosocial behaviour. Specifically, peer difficulties mediated the links between aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour one year later, particularly during the first three years of school attendance.

Conclusions: Implications of the findings for the design of intervention strategies to reduce children's aggressive behaviour are discussed.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus