The Social Values of Aggressive–Prosocial Youth

Kristina L. McDonald, Maya Benish-Weisman, Christopher T. O’Brien, Stephen Ungvary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent research has identified youth who utilize both aggressive and prosocial behavior with peers. Although the social values and motivations associated with aggression and prosocial behavior have been well studied, the values of youth who utilize both aggression and prosocial behavior are unknown. The current study identified groups of adolescents based on peer nominations of aggression and prosocial behavior from both Israel (n = 569; 56.94 % Arab, 43.06 % Jewish; 53.78 % female) and the United States (n = 342; 67.54 % African-American; 32.46 % European-American; 50.88 % female). Self-enhancement, self-transcendence, openness-to-change, and conservation values predicted behavioral group membership. Power values predicted membership in the aggressive group relative to the aggressive–prosocial, prosocial, and low-both groups. For Israeli boys, openness-to-change values predicted membership in the aggressive–prosocial group relative to the prosocial group. The values of aggressive–prosocial youth were more similar to the values of prosocial peers than to aggressive peers, suggesting that motivational interventions for aggressive–prosocial youth should differ in important ways than those for aggressive youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2245-2256
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number12
StatePublished - 6 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Paige Bussanich and Abigail Kacpura for help with data collection. The research reported in this manuscript was supported by a grant from the Jacobs Foundation to Kristina L. McDonald and Maya Benish-Weisman.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Aggression
  • Cross-cultural
  • Peer relationships
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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