We aimed to typify prosocial characteristics of aggressive youth. We classified early adolescents based on daily configurations of prosocial behavior and autonomous prosocial motivations (performing prosocial behavior for identified and intrinsic reasons) and controlled prosocial motivations (performing prosocial behavior for external and introjected reasons) and explored the links between the obtained sub-groups and peer aggression. The sample included 242 Israeli six-graders [Mage = 11.96 (SD = 0.18), 50% girls] and their teachers. At the daily level, adolescents self-reported on prosocial behaviors and their autonomous and controlled prosocial motivations for ten consecutive days. At the trait level, adolescents reported on global, reactive, and proactive peer aggression. Teachers reported on adolescents’ global peer aggression. Using multilevel latent profile analysis, we identified four day-level profiles of prosociality: ‘high prosocial autonomous’ (39% of days), ‘low prosocial’ (35%), ‘average prosocial controlled’ (14%), and ‘high prosocial bi-motivation’ (13%). At the adolescent level, we identified four sub-groups, each characterized by one dominant daily profile: ‘stable high autonomy’ (33% of adolescents); ‘stable high bi-motivation’ (12%); ‘often average controlled’ (16%); ‘often low’ (39%). Higher self-reported aggressive adolescents, particularly proactive aggressive, had the least chance of being in the ‘stable high autonomy’ sub-group of all sub-groups. Teacher-reported aggressive adolescents had the least likelihood of being in the ‘stable high autonomy’ sub-group and the most likelihood of being in the ‘often low’ sub-group. In sum, peer aggression is a function of the configured phenomenology of prosocial behavior and motivations, with high prosocial autonomously motivated youth being the least aggressive.
- Experience sampling
- Multilevel latent profile analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology