Classroom climate impacts various aspects of school education. Even though many previously published studies have considered how classroom environment may promote children's prosocial behavior, the present authors were unable to find studies that focused on children's autonomous and compulsory prosocial behavior. The present research draws on organismic integration theory, examining the relations between classroom social goal structure and children's autonomous prosocial behavior towards their classmates. The participants, fourth- through sixthgraders in 2 elementary schools (329 boys, 328 girls) and seventh- through ninth-graders in 1 lower secondary school (260 boys, 237 girls), completed questionnaires. Multiple-group structural equation modeling demonstrated that a prosocial goal structure was correlated positively with autonomous prosocial behavior, whereas a compliance goal structure was connected to compulsory prosocial behavior. These findings support the validity of having a classroom prosocial goal in order to promote children's autonomous prosocial behavior. Limitations of the study are discussed.
- classroom social goal structure
- elementary and lower secondary school students
- organismic integration theory
- prosocial behavior
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology