The upsides and downsides of the dark side: A longitudinal study into the role of prosocial and antisocial strategies in close friendship formation

Joseph Ciarrochi, Baljinder K. Sahdra, Patricia H. Hawley, Emma K. Devine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Resource control theory (RCT) posits that both antisocial and prosocial behaviors combine in unique ways to control resources such as friendships. We assessed students (N = 2,803; 49.7% male) yearly from junior (grades 8-10) to senior high school (11-12) on antisocial (A) and prosocial (P) behavior, peer nominated friendship, and well-being. Non-parametric cluster analyses of the joint trajectories of A and P identified four stable profiles: non-strategic (moderately low A and P), bi-strategic (moderately high on A and P), prosocial (moderately low A and moderately high on P), and antisocial (moderately low on P, and very high on A). There were clear benefits to youth using bi-strategic strategies in junior high: they attracted relatively high levels of opposite sex friendship nominations. However, this benefit disappeared in senior high. There were also clear costs: bi-strategic youth experienced relatively low well-being, and this effect was significantly more pronounced for females than males. Prosocial youth were the only ones who maintained both high friendship numbers and high well-being throughout high school. We discuss the cost/benefit trade-offs of different resource control strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume10
Issue numberFEB
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Empathy
  • Resource control theory
  • Self-concept and self esteem
  • Sex differences
  • Well-being

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