Development of a measure of adolescents’ online prosocial behavior

Sara Erreygers*, Heidi Vandebosch, Ivana Vranjes, Elfi Baillien, Hans De Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Research on adolescents’ media use has focused predominantly on its negative aspects (risks) and far less on its positive side (opportunities). This is reflected in the lack of validated instruments to assess adolescents’ online prosocial behavior. To address this issue, we developed the Online Prosocial Behavior Scale (OPBS) to assess adolescents’ involvement in online prosocial behavior. Two subscales (performing and receiving online prosocial behavior) were constructed and their factor structure was evaluated and confirmed through parallel analysis, exploratory factor analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis. The OPBS-subscales displayed good reliability and correlated positively with offline prosocial behavior and use of digital media, supporting the scale’s construct validity. Unexpectedly, the subscales also correlated positively with online antisocial behavior, which may be understood within the framework of the online disinhibition theory. The scale can be a useful tool for researchers and practitioners who need a global instrument to assess adolescents’ online prosocial behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Children and Media
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)448-464
Publication statusPublished - 30.01.2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • prosocial behavior
  • prosocialness
  • antisocial behavior
  • adolescents
  • online behavior
  • scale development
  • scale validation
  • measurement instrument


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