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Resource control theory (RCT) posits that both antisocial and prosocial behaviors combine in unique ways to control resources such as friendships. We assessed students (N = 2,803; 49.7% male) yearly from junior (grades 8–10) to senior high school (11–12) on antisocial (A) and prosocial (P) behavior, peer nominated friendship, and well-being. Non-parametric cluster analyses of the joint trajectories of A and P identified four stable profiles: non-strategic (moderately low A and P), bi-strategic (moderately high on A and P), prosocial (moderately low A and moderately high on P), and antisocial (moderately low on P, and very high on A). There were clear benefits to youth using bi-strategic strategies in junior high: they attracted relatively high levels of opposite sex friendship nominations. However, this benefit disappeared in senior high. There were also clear costs: bi-strategic youth experienced relatively low well-being, and this effect was significantly more pronounced for females than males. Prosocial youth were the only ones who maintained both high friendship numbers and high well-being throughout high school. We discuss the cost/benefit trade-offs of different resource control strategies.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.