Introduction: Literature on adolescent prosocial behavior (PB) has grown tremendously since the development of The Prosocial Tendency Measure-Revised (PTM-R), which includes subscales assessing different types of PB. However, findings of gender differences are inconsistent across studies. Thus, we computed meta-analyses to examine gender differences in adolescents’ PB. Further, we examined the moderating roles of type of PB, and various sample (i.e., mean age, gender composition, ethnic composition) and study (i.e., reporter type, measurement form, reliability) characteristics in gender differences in PB. Methods: Using online databases (e.g., ProQuest), journal article references, and conference programs, we identified a total of 46 records from 32 studies (215 effect sizes, N = 12,024) across the globe that had measured adolescents’ (age 10–18; 51% male) PB using the PTM-R or the PTM. Results: Gender differences in the PB were small to medium in magnitude (ds ranged from 0 to 0.35) for absolute gender differences (i.e., overall magnitude of gender differences regardless of which gender was higher). There were larger gender differences for gender-typed prosocial behaviors (e.g., altruistic, d = 0.35) than gender-neutral behaviors (e.g., anonymous, d = 0.03). The type of PB (i.e., altruistic, compliant, public, emotional, dire, anonymous) and region (i.e., European, U.S., traditional cultures, Asian) and were significant moderators. Conclusions: Although males and females generally are more similar than different in their prosociality, it is important to consider the type of PB when examining gender differences.
- Gender differences
- Prosocial behavior
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health