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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 769158, 8 pages
Review Article

Prosocial Involvement as a Positive Youth Development Construct: A Conceptual Review

Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Received 18 July 2011; Accepted 8 September 2011

Academic Editor: Joav Merrick

Copyright © 2012 Ching Man Lam. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper discusses the concept of prosocial involvement as a positive youth development construct. How prosocial involvement is defined and how the different theories conceptualize prosocial involvement are reviewed. Antecedents of prosocial involvement such as biological traits, personality, cognitive and emotional processes, socialization experience, culture, and their social context are examined. The relationship between prosocial involvement and adolescent developmental outcomes, together with strategies to promote prosocial involvement in adolescents, are discussed. Finally, directions for future research and practice are proposed.