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Prosociality from Early Adolescence to Young Adulthood: A Longitudinal Study of Individuals with a History of Language Impairment

Toseeb, U and Pickles, A and Durkin, K and Botting, N and Conti-Ramsden, G (2017) Prosociality from Early Adolescence to Young Adulthood: A Longitudinal Study of Individuals with a History of Language Impairment. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 62. pp. 148-159. ISSN 0891-4222

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Abstract

Background: Longitudinal research into the development of prosociality contributes vitally to understanding of individual differences in psychosocial outcomes. Most of the research to date has been concerned with prosocial behaviour in typically developing young people; much less has been directed to the course of development in individuals with developmental disorders. Aims: This study reports a longitudinal investigation of prosocial behaviour in young people with language impairment (LI), and compares trajectories of development to typically developing age-matched peers (AMPs). Methods and Procedures: Participants were followed from age 11 years to young adulthood (age 24 years). Outcomes and Results: Participants with LI perceived themselves as prosocial; their ratings – though lower than those for the AMPs - were well within the normal range and they remained consistently so from 11 to 24 years. Two different developmental trajectories were identified for the LI group, which were stable and differed only in level of prosociality. Approximately one third of participants with LI followed a moderate prosociality trajectory whilst the majority (71%) followed a prosocial trajectory. We found evidence of protective effects of prosociality for social outcomes in young adulthood. Conclusions and Implications: The findings indicate that prosociality is an area of relative strength in LI.

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