Altruistic Behavior and Life Values of Junior High School Students

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Altruism is one aspect of what social psychologists refer to as prosocial behavior. It’s the principle and moral practice of an individual that concerns for happiness of other human beings or animals. It can be distinguished from feelings of loyalty but it doesn’t consider as relationships.

The Field of Prosocial Behavior

The prosocial behavior has been identified through series of experiment and based on the study; one of the great factors that affect pro-social behavior can be between genes and environment. Some factors that can be involved in pro-social behavior is from the different positive acts of interest derived from personality, family background and influence from childhood to adolescence which can sharing resources with another, volunteering your time and efforts to charitable organization and to participating to achieve common goals to not be realized alone. (Nov 2013)

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From early Biblical times, prosocial behaviors were tied to morality and reverence for God. Giving alms to the poor was regarded not only as virtuous, but also as an especially efficacious way to balance the debt of sin against the prospects for salvation (Anderson, 2009, 2013).

Some variety of factors which increase more of prosocial behavior are good parenting, strong relationship within family. Good behavior within the school community, the areas where high prosocial level is high. The more these factors are present, the more an individual can be involve in prosocial behavior. (Mugo 2009).

According to Loeber and Burke (2011), the family is our early beginning when it comes to communication and to interact with others. It also develops by social interaction within community and family.

Dealing with antisocial behavior has been expanded over the years. Studies narrows down the cause and effects of these behaviors and taken some action to eliminate and sort these problems. Believing that laws and orders can help to reduce the issue by taking proper action accordingly considering the factors that can prosocial behavior. (Donoghue 2010)

Laws that has been set to fix these behavior depending on the range of conduct it encompasses from a simple helping to others. This can be considered how authorities should handle the situation and when intervention is appropriate. (flint 2006). Prosocial behavior has been categorized (Moreno, 2012) to review behaviors in classrooms.

The Effect of Prosocial in Society

Adolescence is a crucial stage for a child with prosocial behavior. They get to emerge because of the higher chances of getting wider environment and community. Most of the data (Federal Bureau of Investigations, 2010) females got a higher ratio of involvement in prosocial behaviors as compared to males. Still the numbers for these behavior are increasing. Prosocial behavior develops in the context of personal social interactions within the family members, community and environment. It can also influenced by the level of involvement to peers.

Parenting plays an important role in the solving this behavior. With proper parenting and support, their children will increase their sense of belongingness that will continue the child action will lead to prosocial behavior. Cultivating the culture of values to develop their interpersonal skills to help them cope in their community and environment. Parents are the role model of each individual from childhood to adolescence. Teachings and moral that has been taught to a child will help them to take action responsively and appropriately.

Adolescence is a unique stage of human development with specific characteristics, when individuals do not only strive to adapt to the environment and seek balance, but also to build significant relations outside the family as well as their identity and autonomy, while profound physical, cognitive, moral and socio- emotional changes take place (Steinberg, 2009). Therefore, prosocial behaviors that are manifested at this stage can be associated from all the complexity and significance of such profound developmental events, which must be put in context if we fully wish to interpret and understand the phenomenon. Studying about the family appears to be a key element to understanding the positive effect of prosocial, its origins and the way it manifests and develops in adolescence (Pardini et al., 2015).

Differences in Socialization according to their Gender

Social skills appear to be determinant, either as protective factors or risk factors, in guiding individual’s choices regarding social behaviors. It is quite consensual that the tendency to show altruism, sympathy and respect may be determinant in being a prosocial. (Dodge et al., 2008), In this scope, literature has consistently found that adolescent boys tend to show lower scores both in self-control (Chapple, Vaske& Hope, 2010; Gottfredson&Hirschi, 1990; Higgins, 2004) and empathy (Van Der Graaff, Branje, Wied, Hawk & Van Lier, 2013; Rueckert, Branch &Doan, 2011).

Change that occurs in adolescence does not only have an impact on social behaviors, but also on how individuals perceive themselves, that is, on their self-concept. Social behaviors and self-concept are not only fundamental for an adjusted personal, social, and academic development (Torregrosa, Ingles & Garcia-Fernandez, 2011), but are also believed to mutually influence each other. Positive self-concept has been related to good mental health, educational benefits, positive development in adolescence, and many adjusted psychological and social outcomes (O’Mara, Marsh, Craven &Debus, 2012), that protect against behavior problems, while negative self-concept has been commonly associated with aggression and delinquency. However, research has not yet allowed us to clarify if there is a particular pattern that defines a tendency of prosocial children and adolescents regarding self-concept. Some evidence supports associations between positive self-concept and aggressive behaviors, as there is evidence suggesting associations between negative self-concept and aggression. Some authors suggest that girls tend present generally poorer self-concept than boys (Orr, 2013; Wilgenbusch&Merrell, 2013), but others did not find significant gender differences (Arens&Hasselhorn, 2013).

As prosocial behavior reaches its maximum expression during adolescence, it becomes of great interest to research on this developmental stage (Pérez-Fuentes et al., 2011; Light et al., 2013; Inglés et al., 2014; Gázquez et al., 2015). Other authors refer to problems in conceptualizing antisocial behavior, differentiating between aggressive forms and rule-breaking (Burt, 2013), since they correlate with different factors, such as proactive aggression (Andreu and Peña, 2013). To the extent that this type of behavior constitutes a risk, not only for the person him/herself, but also for those he/she relates with, effective intervention strategies are necessary not only for its elimination, but also for its prevention (Fernández-Cabezas et al., 2011).

Much of the research on prevalence of prosocial behavior which has analyzed the differences in gender suggests that females show higher rates of prosocial behavior than males (López and Rodríguez-Arias, 2010; Hasking et al., 2011; Viñas et al., 2012). However, although men show more helpingness than women (Muñoz et al., 2010).

(Martí and Palma 2010) thought that sex and age have a significant effect on adolescent preferences for values: Girls prefer more abstract, interiorized values and are prone to instrumental values with a more egocentric and material load. As age advances, adolescents prefer values more in harmony with personal dignity and equality rather than those focusing on oneself or on confrontation with others. More recently, (Garaigordobil et al.,2014) observed that males involved in bullying tend toward domination and are more aggressive than women.

Regarding the age variable, no one moment has been agreed upon for either appearance of prosocial behavior or its prevalence during an individual’s development. Some have placed its appearance at around 13 years of age (Rechrea, 2009) while others like (Tresgallo,2011) have suggested that first manifestations appear at 6–7 years, intensifying in late adolescence (Cifuentes and Londoño, 2011), and still others have suggested that it is relatively stable through adulthood (Ezteves et. al, 2010) More recently, findings in a sample of adolescents aged 13–18 showed that older adolescents exhibit prosocial behavior more often than younger adolescents. Thus the stage of psychological development, and not just age, is of special importance in the analysis of origin and maintenance of prosocial behavior.

Finally, another of the aspects analyzed is the school year, which is of interest for studying transitions, since this is where the appearance of behavior negative to the school climate becomes most likely (Pellegrini et al., 2010). The prevalence of such behavior in each school year is also studied, because there is a positive correlation between its prevalence and subject age, and also with school year. And the older they are, that is, in higher school years, student justification of violence decreases and is there is more of it among males (Garaigordobil et al., 2013]

The Nature of Life Values

Values are acquired in the family and educational environments, where the family provides the first experience for beginning construction of the individual’s identity and facilitates acquisition of a primary value structure (Fuentes et al., 2011), while in the education system, youths can interact with others and establish a hierarchical classification of the value system acquired (Jimenez et. al, 2011).

In adolescence, the family context continues to influence shaping of the psychosocial connection, even though peer group contributions seem to be determinant. Results of some studies show that an adequate positive environment exerts a favorable effect on the development of the adolescent and his/her behavior (Zimmer – Gembeck Locke, 2014). For example, behavior problems in adolescents are often the result of a family environment where there is a lack of affectivity (de la Torre et al., 2013). In the opinion of the family members themselves, a weak education in values is associated with problems living together.

Values are more abstract in women than in men, who give them a more egocentric and instrumental load. As they grow older, adolescents show preference for values more in harmony with terms of equality and dignity, and start opposing more egocentric values centered on “I,” or confrontation with others (Martí and Palma, 2010).


Prosocial behavior is an action that shows with much of consideration, interaction and involvement with other people or group of people. It can be gained through interaction with other people like family, friends, schools and other places. This behavior can be associated with other behavioral and developmental issues like altruism and helping. Values that determines the human behavior relating to others and considering what is important to others are called interpersonal values by which commonly learned by an individual as early as childhood to adolescence. Learning interpersonal values are shown the way how an individual has been treated and what they can learn from others.

Determining prosocial behavior can give us knowledge about how these behaviors exist nowadays and why people get to involve and have these kind of behavior. This can also help other people to have knowledge about helping in others. These people exists because of the cause of the both genetic and behavioral factors. These factors affects the person’s way of thinking depending on their genetic backgrounds and behavioral state. As time goes by studies has been narrowed down to determine how can effectively to helping other people in some situation. An age from childhood to adolescence is range where a lot of cases recorded that involves anti-socialbehavior from a simple nuisance to serious offenses. As in most cases males has more involvement than females because of their contrast in personality. They tend to be more dominant in certain situations, being competitive at times which sometimes lead to a destructing actions and eventually to antisocial behavior. While females has more tendency to talk and communicate and that leads to a clear understanding between individuals that helps decrease the tension of inappropriate actions. In spite of these differences still some of them has one thing in common, their family backgrounds, how they are being treated by their parents and other family members, community and environment with high antisocial behaviors and there past influences since childhood to adolescence.

Considering that the major factors are identified by the studies, they found that parenting can play a vital role in solving this behaviors like proper guidance and support and nourishing them with knowledge and values that they need to learn and how they should be responsible in their actions to other individuals and having their values intact in order to act in consideration with actions and eventually prevent actions that will lead to being prosocial behavior. The laws are also implemented to rehabilitate and help individuals to be responsible in their actions. These can be threaded by both the help of helping treatments in others and conduct altruism these can help prosocial behaviors can be widely be like others.

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