The effect of personality traits and personal values on adolescent prosocial orientation

Rita Žukauskienė, Oksana Malinauskienė

Abstract


This study investigates the relationship between youth prosocial orientation, and personality traits and personal values in a sample of Lithuanian adolescents, in order to assess differences in personality and personal values between those adolescents who are engaged in community and school life and those who are not. Mean age of participants was 18.20 (SD = 0.69), who were high school students (N = 490) from one administrative region. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing adolescent prosocial orientation, along with measures of personality traits (NEO-FFI) and personal values (PVQ). Cluster analysis based on adolescent participation in community and school life reported in the questionnaire identified 5 distinct groupings of adolescents: Very involved (who had high levels of involvement); Involved (who scored more than 0.5 SD above the average levels of organized activities); Average involvement (who scored on the average levels of all three forms of structured activities); adolescents with Some Involvement (who scored on the average levels on structured activities, but were very low on commitment to goals); and Uninvolved adolescents. Comparisons revealed several significant differences among the groups in terms of personality traits and values. Very involved and involved adolescents were characterized by more pronounced traits in extraversion, openness to experience and agreeableness, while conscientiousness was significantly higher only in the Very involved cluster. In adolescents who are more engaged in community and school life, we found higher levels of basic personal values, with the exception of hedonism. Results are discussed with regard to the role that personality traits and personal values may play in fostering the prosocial orientation of adolescents.

Keywords


prosocial orientation; personality traits; personal values; adolescence

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789