prosocial behavior, gender difference, masculinity, emerging, adulthood


The current study sought to address gender differences in prosocial behavior by creating and validating a multidimensional measure of prosocial behavior that more fully captures the ways that men help others. The new measure is directed toward family, friend, and strangers, and has five factors: defending, emotional support, inclusion, physical helping, and sharing. In Study 1, CFA analyses performed on a sample of 463 emerging adults online (mean age 23.42) revealed good model fit and divergent validity for each of the five factors. Study 2 replicated the analyses on a sample of 453 urban adolescents in the Northwest (mean age 18.37). Results established that all factors had good model fit, construct validity, and convergent validity. The discussion focuses on implications of this measure for future prosocial research including an increased diversity in how people (particularly men) help others and developmental differences toward different targets of prosocial behavior.

Original Publication Citation

*Nielson, M. G., Padilla-Walker, L., and Holmes, E. K. (2017). How do men and women help? Validation of a multidimensional measure of prosocial behavior. Journal of Adolescence, 56, 91-106.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Adolescence




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor