Prosocial development in adolescence

Eveline A. Crone*, Michelle Achterberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)


In this review, we describe the development of prosocial behavior in adolescence as a critical inflection period for social adjustment. Experimental research using prosocial giving tasks demonstrates that adolescents differentiate more between recipients and contexts, suggesting increasing ingroup-outgroup differentiation during adolescence. We also demonstrate that social brain development during adolescence is partly driven by environmental influences, further underlining adolescence as a critical period for social development. The COVID-19 pandemic has had and will have long-term effects on the current generation of adolescents, for which we describe both the risks, resilience factors, and opportunities for engaging in prosocial acts of kindness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-225
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
Early online date5 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
E.A.C. is supported by an ‘innovative ideas’ grant of the European Research Council (ERC CoG PROSOCIAL 681632 to E.A.C.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


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