This article reports on a research study that aimed to provide a preliminary validation of a new measure of prosocial attributes which was designed to comprehensively evaluate in greater depth the prosocial functioning of urban, justice-involved youth.
Though prosocial attributes are linked to positive outcomes among justice-involved adolescents and are a mainstay of numerous interventions, few measures have been specifically designed to evaluate prosocial functioning within this population. Although multiple instruments measuring aspects of prosocial behavior exist, these instruments were not designed to measure prosocial behaviors among youth in juvenile justice settings. This study aims to provide a preliminary validation of a new measure of prosocial attributes (the Prosocial Status Inventory - PSI), which was designed to comprehensively evaluate in greater depth the prosocial functioning of urban, justice-involved youth. Youth (n = 51) were recruited as part of a larger study and were participants in a community-based mentoring program in a large, urban county in the Southern USA. Youth completed the PSI at baseline prior to their participation in the community-based mentoring program. The authors obtained follow-up data on recidivism from the county juvenile justice department. PSI scores were positively related to a lower rate of recidivism and a decrease in offending frequency over a 12-month follow-up period. The current findings complement previous work, suggesting that prosocial attributes are measurable and related to important outcomes among justice-involved youth and support the utility of strengths-based treatment approaches. Moreover, it provides preliminary evidence of the utility of a new self-report measure to assess these traits within a juvenile justice population. (Published Abstract Provided)