The roles of parental inductions, moral emotions, and moral cognitions in prosocial tendencies among Mexican American and European American early adolescents

Gustavo Carlo, George P. Knight, Meredith McGinley, Rachel Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


This study examined the relationships between parental inductions, sympathy, prosocial moral reasoning, and prosocial behaviors. A total of 207 early adolescents who self-identified as Mexican American (girls, n = 105; mean age = 10.91 years) and 108 who identified as European American (girls, n = 54; mean age = 11.07 years) completed measures of parental inductions, sympathy, prosocial moral reasoning, and six different types of prosocial behaviors. The findings showed that the correlates of prosocial behaviors were basically the same across the two ethnic groups, though there were some ethnic group differences in prosocial behaviors. Sympathy but not prosocial moral reasoning mediated the relationships between parental inductions and prosocial behaviors. Whereas sympathy was indirectly associated with all six types of prosocial behaviors, prosocial moral reasoning was associated with altruistic, anonymous, and public prosocial behaviors. As discussed in the article, findings further highlighted the ethnic group differences in prosocial behaviors and the distinct roles of sympathy and prosocial moral reasoning in prosocial development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-781
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011



  • ethnicity
  • morality
  • parenting
  • prosocial behaviors
  • sympathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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