A Person-Centered Examination of Community Characteristics and Prosocial Behaviors Among Young Adults

Abstract

The goal of the current study was to examine latent profiles of young adults based on neighborhood risk, social cohesion, and community self-efficacy, and to examine whether these profiles predicted prosocial behaviors (i.e., actions intended to benefit others) toward both friends and strangers. Participants were 197 emerging adults (M age = 20.94 years; range = 18–25 years; 76.5% women; 36.5% White; 50.5% Latino/a; 7.7% Black; 5.7% Asian; 5.5% Native; 13.6% other and included groups such as Mestizo, mixed race, and Mexican) who completed measures of their own environmental characteristics and prosocial behaviors. Results demonstrated three groups of emerging adults. Group membership was also marginally associated with prosocial behaviors toward friends but not strangers. Specifically, the moderate community risk group scored marginally higher than the community efficacy group on prosocial behaviors toward friends. Discussion focuses on the role of contexts in shaping social responding of emerging adults with an emphasis on factors that promote helping behaviors toward both friends and strangers.

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Acknowledgements

This research was funded through the Resource Allocation Committee at the University of New Mexico.

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The Resource Allocations Committee at the University of New Mexico funded this study.

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Correspondence to Alexandra N. Davis.

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Davis, A.N., Taylor, T. & Gallarza, W. A Person-Centered Examination of Community Characteristics and Prosocial Behaviors Among Young Adults. J Adult Dev (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10804-021-09370-8

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Keywords

  • Neighborhood risk
  • Social cohesion
  • Self-efficacy
  • Prosocial behaviors