Pro-social Tendencies in Adolescents: The effects of Bilingualism, Bilingualism attitudes and Ethnicity

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Dr. Lorna Hernandez Jarvis, Hope College

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This study investigated the effects of bilingualism and bilingualism attitudes on pro-social tendencies (PT) comparing Latino and Caucasian Adolescents. Middle School students N=1311, 33% male) in grades 6th through 8th were asked to complete a questionnaire in three consecutive years, 2005-2007.The questionnaires included measures of pro-social tendencies and attitudes toward bilingualism. There were no ethnic differences in pro-social tendencies. Contrary to the hypothesis, bilingualism (whether they spoke two languages) did not lead to higher pro-social tendencies. Analyses indicated that regardless of ethnicity adolescents with higher pro-social tendencies were more likely to have positive attitudes toward bilingualism than adolescents with lower pro-social scores.

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