The role of relatedness: Applying a developmental-relational view of compassion in adolescence

Blake A. Colaianne, Paul Condon, Michael J. Tumminia, Brian M. Galla, Robert W. Roeser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Developmental-relational theories of adolescence suggest that receiving compassion from others promotes an internalized sense of relatedness with others, which in turn can support extending compassion toward others. Given that adolescence is marked by an expanding social environment, this may be a particularly salient time for a young person's social-ecology to impact their motivation to express compassion. We explore this hypothesis using a yearlong, three-wave longitudinal dataset from 599 adolescents (Mage = 16.3 years; 49% girls; 80% White) who attended high school in a suburban area of western Pennsylvania. Autoregressive, cross-lagged panel analyses indicated that adolescents' perceptions of receiving compassion from others at the beginning of the school year was associated with an increased sense of relatedness in the middle of the year, which in turn predicted greater extending compassion for others at the end of the year. Implications for applying a developmental-relational view to research and intervention efforts on compassion in adolescence are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101569
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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