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Can repeated and reflective prosocial experiences in sport increase generosity in adolescent athletes?

Proulx, J. D. E., Macchia, L. ORCID: 0000-0001-9558-4747 & Aknin, L. B. (2023). Can repeated and reflective prosocial experiences in sport increase generosity in adolescent athletes?. The Journal of Positive Psychology, pp. 1-29. doi: 10.1080/17439760.2023.2178955


In partnership with a sport-based Experiential Philanthropy Intervention – The Play Better Program – we conducted a pre-registered, longitudinal experiment examining whether repeatedly reflecting on prosocial activity could boost adolescents’ objective generosity. Adolescents (N = 114; aged 9–16) practiced charitable giving throughout their 2-month sports season and were randomly assigned to repeatedly reflect on the importance of their prosocial activity (Reflection condition) or to write about their everyday activities (Control condition). Adolescents completed an objective measure of generosity at pre- and post-intervention and self-reported measures of prosocial character. Across conditions, adolescents donated objectively more at post- vs. pre-intervention. However, adolescents in the Reflection (vs. Control) condition were no more generous and did not report greater prosocial character at post-intervention. Overall, these findings highlight the malleability of human prosociality and the need for additional scholar-practitioner collaborations to uncover whether and how Experiential Philanthropy Interventions boost long-term generosity among the next generation of givers.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Journal of Positive Psychology on 22 Feb 2023, available at:
Publisher Keywords: Generosity; Charitable Giving; Prosociality Interventions; Reflection; Prosocial Character Development; Adolescence; Sport
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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