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Longitudinal relations between adolescents' self-esteem and prosocial behavior toward strangers, friends and family

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Abstract

The present study examined age-trends and longitudinal bidirectional relations in self-esteem and prosocial behavior toward strangers, friends, and family over a four-year time period (age 11 to 14). A total of 681 adolescents were recruited in the United States (51% girls, 28% single parent families). A longitudinal panel model was conducted and the results showed that adolescent self-esteem was associated longitudinally with subsequent prosocial behavior toward strangers, and earlier prosocial behavior toward strangers promoted subsequent self-esteem. There were no such bidirectional relations between self-esteem and prosocial behavior toward friends and family. Findings also highlight the complexity of adolescent development of selfesteem and the multidimensional nature of prosocial behavior. Discussion focuses on understanding the dynamic interplay between adolescent selfesteem and prosocial behavior.

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... Individuals are more likely to help strangers because of sympathy or altruistic considerations like getting others out of trouble. Helping friends or family is more often motivated by maintaining the relationship or promoting interpersonal harmony (Fu et al. 2017). ...
... Similarly, 7 items were adapted to gauge prosocial behavior toward friends (e.g., "I go out of my way to cheer up my friends when they seem sad"; α = 0.89, 0.93), and toward strangers (e.g., "I help people I don't know, even if it is not easy for me"; α = 0.87, 0.90). In the previous research, Cronbach's alphas for these three constructs were between 0.85 and 0.96, and it indicated an adequate fit of a threefactor model (Fraser et al. 2012;Fu et al. 2017). Participants were rated on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (not like me at all) to 5 (very much like me). ...
... However, maternal psychological control, such as isolation and love withdrawal, thwarted adolescents' psychological need for harmonious family relationship as SDT demonstrated, and hence brought alienation and loneliness to adolescents (Soenens and Vansteenkiste 2010). As helping family members could be a direct and effective strategy of improving family relations (Fu et al. 2017), those adolescents with psychologically controlling mothers might be motivated to act prosocially toward family to compensate for their relatedness needs (Nelson and Crick 2002). In other words, this compensation motivation could halt the detrimental impact of parental psychological control on prosocial behavior toward family, which therefore was not influenced by maternal psychological control. ...
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Objectives Parental psychological control is considered a destructive form of parenting, which renders adolescents vulnerable to psychosocial maladjustment. Adolescent behavior might also in turn impact parental psychological control, which is, as yet, much less known. Nevertheless, few studies so far on parental psychological control have examined the paternal and maternal dimensions independently. Therefore, the present study aims to examine the longitudinally bidirectional relation between paternal/maternal psychological control and adolescent behavioral outcomes. Methods A total of 434 Chinese adolescents participated at two time points approximately one year apart. At each time point, the participants completed a questionnaire containing measurements of paternal/maternal psychological control, prosocial behavior toward family, friends, and strangers, academic achievement, and demographic information. A cross-lagged model was conducted to test the hypotheses, and good model fit was reached, χ² (2750) = 4294.45, p < 0.001, CFI = 0.92, TLI = 0.91, RMSEA = 0.04, SRMR = 0.06. Results The main results showed that maternal psychological control was negatively predictive of subsequent prosocial behavior toward friends and strangers, but not toward family or academic achievement, and adolescent academic achievement was longitudinally and negatively related to both paternal and maternal psychological control. Conclusions The findings support the transactional model of development, which indicates that parenting is changing and also being changed by adolescent behavior. The discussion focuses on understanding the dynamic interplay between parental psychological control and adolescent behavioral outcomes.
... Recent research indicates that taking a multidimensional approach when studying prosocial behavior by considering the target (i.e., recipient) is important (Padilla-Walker & Carlo, 2014) because who a person chooses to help (e.g., strangers, family members) is differentially related to behavioral outcomes for the helper (Padilla-Walker et al., 2015). For example, prosocial behavior toward strangers directly protects against externalizing behaviors like aggression and delinquency (Padilla-Walker, Memmott-Elison, & Coyne, 2018), and promotes self-esteem (Fu, Padilla-Walker, & Brown, 2017), whereas prosocial behavior towards family members does not. Differences in correlates of prosocial behavior toward various targets is in part a function of the nature of the relationship between helper and target. ...
... Engaging in prosocial behavior has been found to strengthen character traits as young people (i.e., children and adolescents) become increasingly other-focused and aware of those who are in need, accomplish helping-specific goals, and gain confidence in their ability to help others as they engage in prosocial actions. Prosocial behavior has traditionally been studied in relation to character strengths like empathy, sympathy, and self-regulation (Eisenberg et al., 2015), though recent work suggests prosocial behavior is cross-sectionally associated with hope (Ferrari, Haq, & Williams, 2014;Padilla-Walker, Hardy, & Christensen, 2011), persistence (Davis, Hall, & Meyer, 2003;Grant, 2008;Padilla-Walker, Day, Dyer, & Black, 2012), gratitude (Ma, Tunney, & Ferguson, 2017;Visserman, Righetti, Impett, Keltner, & Van Lange, 2018;Yost-Dubrow & Dunham, 2018); and self-esteem (Fu et al., 2017;Zuffianò et al., 2014) as well. Because these studies were cross-sectional, direction of effects are impossible to determine and theoretically could be bidirectional. ...
... Additionally, greater prosocial behavior toward family at the initial time point was linked to higher reported gratitude one year later. These findings are consistent with past research on self-esteem (Fu et al., 2017;Klein, 2017;Sonnentag & Barnett, 2013;Zuffianò et al., 2014), in that helping others may help teens view themselves positively (e.g., as kind, autonomous beings with potential to impact others). However, results that indicate prosocial engagement contributes to the development of hope, persistence, and gratitude extended past work. ...
Article
Introduction: Identifying protective factors against internalizing behaviors during adolescence is a public health priority, as rates of depression and anxiety are rising. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine whether prosocial engagement toward strangers and family members is protective against depressive and anxiety symptoms, and whether this link is mediated by character strengths (i.e., hope, persistence, gratitude, and self-esteem). Method: The sample consisted of 500 US adolescents (52% female; 66% European American; 33% from single-parent families). Data across three consecutive yearly waves were utilized in the current study (Mage Time 1 = 13.32). Results: Results of a longitudinal structural equation model revealed prosocial behavior toward strangers and family members were differentially related to character strengths, and that prosocial behavior toward strangers was indirectly associated with depressive symptoms via self-esteem. Conclusion: Taken together, findings extend the Developmental Cascades model and suggest that prosocial behavior and character strengths protect against depressive symptoms during the adolescent period. Findings are discussed in the context of relevant research and theory, and implications for future research and intervention programs are presented.
... A study by Datu et al. (2021) demonstrated that a brief kindness intervention led to increased selfesteem in adolescents. This effect might be even more evident when kindness is directed at strangers (Fu et al., 2017). Thus, successfully performing kind acts for strong social ties might lead to experiencing more positive emotions. ...
... Marshall et al. (2014) demonstrated that an increase in self-esteem predicts higher levels of later social support. In particular, research has shown that a longitudinal relation between self-esteem and prosocial behaviour exists, but only when kindness is directed towards strangers (Fu et al., 2017). If individuals low in self-esteem show less kindness to strangers on their own initiative, it can be assumed that they are brought more out of their comfort zone when they are asked to do so as part of an intervention. ...
... Positive emotions and self-esteem were not significant mediator variables in the current study. This finding is in contrast with prior research (e.g., Datu et al., 2021;Duronto et al., 2005;Fu et al., 2017), of which the lack of effect of positive emotions was most surprising based on the abundant theoretical and empirical evidence demonstrating the benefits of positive emotions on mental wellbeing (e.g., Fredrickson, 2013;Nelson et al., 2016). A possible explanation for this contradictory finding might be that the current sample size was too small to detect mediation and moderation effects (Brown et al., 2012;Schoemann et al., 2017). ...
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The current study examines the role of social ties in performing kind acts to enhance university students' wellbeing. Due to facing multifaceted challenges, university students form a group that is particularly vulnerable in terms of their mental health. Interventions harnessing prosocial behaviour have the potential to increase students' wellbeing, strengthen personal competencies, and broaden social networks. The first aim of the trial (N = 222) was to explore whether a 4-week acts-of-kindness intervention targeting either (1) strong social ties, (2) weak social ties or (3) unspecified receivers (treatment-as-usual) differ in their impact on students' mental wellbeing, positive relations, depressive symptoms, anxiety, and perceived stress. The second aim was to examine whether kindness for strong versus weak social ties have different underlying working mechanisms (i.e., positive emotions versus self-esteem) and who benefits most from these instructions (i.e., those with high or low levels of self-esteem and positive relations). Results demonstrated that the most significant improvements in mental wellbeing were found in the kindness for strong social ties condition compared to the other conditions. No mediation effects of positive emotions and self-esteem were found. Moderation analyses revealed that participants who performed kind acts for weak social ties reported significantly less positive effects on mental wellbeing, but only when their levels of self-esteem at baseline were medium or high. Independent of group allocation, participants' mental wellbeing increased throughout the intervention, but so did the experience of depressive symptoms, anxiety, and perceived stress. More research is needed to examine the timing of kindness interventions and investigate how they can improve mental wellbeing and psychological distress in acute phases of academic stress in university students.
... Prosocial behavior refers to the behavior of helping others without expecting anything in return, including extending a helping hand to others, comforting injured strangers, and sharing food with others (Schoeps et al., 2020). Prosocial behavior plays a crucial role in shaping a sound personality, so the factors that can positively influence prosocial behavior have always been the focus of researchers (Fu et al., 2017). Some studies reported that children are likely to be kind to others outside if they respect their parents at home, so children with higher level of filial piety are more likely to exhibit prosocial behaviors (such as altruistic and helpful behavior) (Jin et al., 2011). ...
... For the other thing, because self-esteem has an important impact on children's social behavior (Brown et al., 1988;Coulombe & Yates, 2021). Previous studies have shown that self-esteem is positively correlated with prosocial behavior (Fu et al., 2017), children with a higher level of self-esteem are more likely to increase prosocial behavior because of satisfaction of needs and realization of the self-worth (Eisenberg et al., 2007). However, children with low selfesteem lack the satisfaction of basic psychological needs, such as self-confidence and a feeling of competence (Ryan & Brown, 2003), which prevents them from engaging in prosocial behaviors. ...
Article
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Filial piety is a traditional Chinese virtue that has deeply influenced Chinese people for generations. To examine whether traditional Chinese filial piety is related to prosocial behavior, and explore the potential mechanism between them, the present study investigated the relationships between filial piety, self-esteem, peer attachment, and prosocial behavior among Chinese children. A total of 922 Chinese children in middle and late childhood aged 7 to 11 participated in this study, and data were collected at three-time points in a year. The results from the structural equation model (SEM) suggested that reciprocal filial piety and authoritarian filial piety had different effects on children’s prosocial behavior. Moreover, self-esteem and peer attachment played a significant chain mediating role between reciprocal filial piety and children’s prosocial behavior, and also played a significant chain mediating role between authoritarian filial piety and children’s prosocial behavior. The present study combined traditional Chinese values with contemporary children’s development, which provided an understanding of how different types of filial piety affected children’s prosocial behavior.
... Paralleling well-documented effects of self-esteem on children's social behaviors (e.g., Donnellan et al., 2005;Fu et al., 2017;Hesari & Hejazi, 2011;Trzesniewski et al., 2006), mounting theory and research point to reciprocal effects of children's social behaviors on self-esteem. For example, prior studies suggest that children who behave prosocially elicit positive responses from others, including teachers (Coulombe & Yates, 2018), peers (Layous et al., 2012), and caregivers (Newton et al., 2014). ...
... As children behave positively with others, social partners, including peers and caregivers, likely reinforce those behaviors with kindness and praise, which may contribute to children's positive self-evaluations. Although a recent study by Fu et al. (2017) found support for bidirectional relations between adolescents' prosocial behaviors and self-esteem, we were unable to evaluate these reciprocal relations within childhood. ...
Article
This study assessed maternal caregiving quality and children's prosocial behavior as related to changes in child self‐esteem from early childhood across the transition into formal schooling. Although a robust literature indicates that sensitive caregiving promotes self‐esteem, less is known about the potential contribution of children's positive social behavior to enhanced self‐esteem. This study drew on a diverse sample of young children (N = 250; Mage = 4.085, SD = .249; 50% female, 50% male; 46% Latinx) to evaluate prospective relations between an observational assessment of sensitive maternal caregiving at the age of 4 and child reports of self‐esteem at the age of 8 as mediated by teacher‐reports of children's prosocial behavior at the age of 6. Analyses revealed a significant indirect pathway whereby sensitive maternal caregiving promoted children's self‐esteem via children's prosocial behavior. These findings highlight both sensitive caregiving and children's prosocial behavior as promising points of intervention to bolster children's self‐esteem.
... Studies have revealed not only the negative relationship between perceived academic discrimination and adolescents' self-esteem [50,51] but also the associations between selfesteem and adolescents' developmental outcomes, including behavioural adjustment and mental health [52][53][54]. In particular, adolescents with higher levels of self-esteem have exhibited more prosocial behaviours [55], less risky behaviours [56,57], and less negative psychological outcomes, such as depression [58,59]. Research has additionally highlighted the mediating role of self-esteem between negative experiences (e.g., social exclusion and psychological maltreatment) and developmental outcomes [60,61]-that is, that an individual's self-esteem positively contributes to their coping with stressors and, in turn, their developmental outcomes. ...
... Furthermore, self-esteem positively affected all the three dimensions of adolescents' developmental outcomes in our study. This result aligns with previous results showing that self-esteem was associated with multiple positive developmental outcomes [55,95,96]. Self-esteem has been recognised as an important personal resource for promoting developmental outcomes among adolescents and as an important factor in mitigating social maladjustment [97], which suggests that self-esteem is positively associated with developmental outcomes. ...
Article
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Although discrimination is widely acknowledged to impair developmental outcomes among ethnic minority adolescents, literature differentiating discrimination based on personal characteristics and group membership is lacking, especially in Chinese contexts, and the mechanisms of those relationships remain unclear. In response, the study presented here examined whether self-esteem mediates the relationship between perceived academic discrimination and developmental outcomes among such ethnic minority adolescents, and whether ethnic identity mediates the relationship between perceived ethnic discrimination and developmental outcomes. Multistage cluster random sampling performed in Dali and Kunming, China, yielded a sample of 813 Bai adolescents whose data was analysed in structural equation modelling. The results indicate that perceived academic discrimination had a direct negative effect on adolescents’ mental health, while perceived ethnic discrimination had direct negative effects on their behavioural adjustment and social competence. Perceived academic discrimination also indirectly affected adolescents’ behavioural adjustment, mental health, and social competence via self-esteem, whereas perceived ethnic discrimination indirectly affected their behavioural adjustment and social competence via ethnic identity. These findings deepen current understandings of how perceived discrimination, self-esteem, and ethnic identity affect the developmental outcomes of ethnic minority adolescents and provide practical recommendations for policymakers and social workers to promote those outcomes in China.
... Previous studies have demonstrated that low self-esteem was more prevalent among LBAs than non-LABs (Tang et al., 2018) and that self-esteem is positively associated with pro-social tendencies (Yun and Lee, 2007), which indicates that those with high self-esteem are more likely to have pro-social tendencies (Fu et al., 2017;McChesney and Toseeb, 2018). Furthermore, self-esteem is considered to be a mediator between family function and internet addiction (Shi et al., 2017), as well as a mediator between social support/happiness and pro-social tendencies (Guo et al., 2014;McChesney and Toseeb, 2018) in other populations. ...
... For the second stage of the mediation model (self-esteem→pro-social tendency), self-esteem was positively associated with pro-social tendencies in LBAs. This finding is congruent with previous research (Zuffiano et al., 2016;Fu et al., 2017;McChesney and Toseeb, 2018), indicating that people with high self-esteem are more likely to have high pro-social tendency. This finding supports the notion that self-esteem is a motivating factor and important psychological resource for achieving positive social outcomes. ...
Article
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In China, adolescents are frequently left behind. To date, few studies have focused on the pro-social tendencies of left-behind adolescents and the relationship of family function, self-esteem, and pro-social tendency is yet to be examined. This study, therefore, aims to understand the status of pro-social tendency of left-behind adolescents and to explore the mediating and moderating roles of self-esteem in the relationship between family function and pro-social tendency. A large, school-based survey was conducted in three Chinese provinces. An analysis of covariance was first used to identify the differences in pro-social tendency between adolescents who were and were not left behind. We then analyzed the variance within left-behind adolescents using demographics, left-behind type, years of being left-behind, and caregiver related characteristics. A structural equation model was used to analyze the relationship of family function, self-esteem, and pro-social tendency, with bootstrapping used to explore the mediating role of self-esteem. Additionally, an ordinary least squares regression was used to examine the moderating effect of self-esteem. The results showed that the pro-social tendency of left-behind adolescents was lower than in non-left-behind adolescents (F = 15.11, p = 0.0001). Family function was positive related to pro-social tendency (r = 0.259), which had not only a direct effect on pro-social tendency (β = 0.254), but also an indirect effect through self-esteem (β = 0.071, bias-corrected 95% CI: 0.051:0.090; percentile 95% CI: 0.053:0.092). Additionally, 21.85% of the total effect of family function on pro-social tendency was mediated by self-esteem. Furthermore, self-esteem negatively moderated the relationship between family function and pro-social tendency (β = -0.208, p < 0.0001), such that the effect of family function on pro-social tendency became weaker as self-esteem increased. The current study verified the negative effect of being left behind on the social development of adolescents and contributed to the understanding of the importance of self-esteem in the relationship between family function and pro-social tendency. Interventions aimed at enhancing self-esteem should be developed and implemented in left-behind adolescents to promote wellness in the entirety of psychological and social outcomes.
... Given the increased complexities and abilities in cognitive and physical development in adolescence (Blakemore and Choudhury 2006), as well as the unique contextual setting that friendship provides, additional types of prosocial behavior are expected to regularly occur. Distinguishing types of prosocial behavior may also explain some of the null findings in relation to prosocial behavior to friends (e.g., self-esteem; Fu et al. 2017), since the lack of significant associations between prosocial behavior toward friends and self-esteem may be due to the use of general helping as prosocial behavior rather than specific forms of helping (e.g., comforting) that may be more prevalent and more impactful on adolescent friend outcomes. Hence, the current study drew upon a recently developed multidimensional measure of prosocial behavior (Nielson et al. 2017) to distinguish five types of prosocial behavior that may be unique in friendships during adolescence. ...
... This finding is meaningful in that helping friends has a positive impact on adolescent subjective wellbeing independent of its impact on friendship quality. As previous research on prosocial behavior has found positive child outcomes related to prosocial behavior (e.g., self-esteem; Fu et al. 2017), being kind and helping friends can promote subjective well-being in adolescents. Prosocial behavior may facilitate life satisfaction because increasing another's welfare may bring a sense of worth (Grant and Gino 2010) and joy to the giver (Eisenberg et al. 2016). ...
Article
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The current study used a multidimensional approach to prosocial behavior by (a) exploring various types of adolescent prosocial behavior toward friends (physical helping, sharing, defending, emotional support, including), and (b) examining longitudinal associations among prosocial behavior toward friends, friendship quality, and mental health and well-being outcomes during adolescence (anxiety, life satisfaction, depression). The data were taken from Waves 8, 9, and 10 of the [project name masked for review]. Participants at Wave 8 consisted of 470 adolescents (M age = 18.4 years, SD = 1.04, 49% male, 33% single-parent families) from the United States. Results revealed that overall prosocial behavior for boys and emotional support for girls were positively associated with friendship quality over time. Overall prosocial behavior was also associated with increased life satisfaction 2 years later. Discussion focuses on the multidimensionality of prosocial behavior and implications regarding friendships and mental health and well-being during adolescence.
... There is empirical evidence that neighborhood violence is linked to negative behavioral outcomes, including externalizing behaviors (Chen et al. 2016;Gorman-Smith and Tolan 1998;Miller et al. 1999). The majority of research has examined the links between neighborhood risk and indicators of negative adjustment; there is relatively less research on prosocial behaviors as a behavioral outcome. ...
... There is evidence that perceptions of self might play a role in social behaviors, including prosocial behaviors among youth. Specifically, self-esteem has been linked to prosocial behaviors toward strangers (Fu et al. 2017). Selfefficacy might also play a direct role in prosocial behaviors because self-efficacy is not a generalized perception but is a reflection of an individual's beliefs about their abilities. ...
Article
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The goal of the current study was to examine latent profiles of young adults based on neighborhood risk, social cohesion, and community self-efficacy, and to examine whether these profiles predicted prosocial behaviors (i.e., actions intended to benefit others) toward both friends and strangers. Participants were 197 emerging adults (M age = 20.94 years; range = 18–25 years; 76.5% women; 36.5% White; 50.5% Latino/a; 7.7% Black; 5.7% Asian; 5.5% Native; 13.6% other and included groups such as Mestizo, mixed race, and Mexican) who completed measures of their own environmental characteristics and prosocial behaviors. Results demonstrated three groups of emerging adults. Group membership was also marginally associated with prosocial behaviors toward friends but not strangers. Specifically, the moderate community risk group scored marginally higher than the community efficacy group on prosocial behaviors toward friends. Discussion focuses on the role of contexts in shaping social responding of emerging adults with an emphasis on factors that promote helping behaviors toward both friends and strangers.
... Given the increased complexities and abilities in cognitive and physical development in adolescence (Blakemore and Choudhury 2006), as well as the unique contextual setting that friendship provides, additional types of prosocial behavior are expected to regularly occur. Distinguishing types of prosocial behavior may also explain some of the null findings in relation to prosocial behavior to friends (e.g., self-esteem; Fu et al. 2017), since the lack of significant associations between prosocial behavior toward friends and self-esteem may be due to the use of general helping as prosocial behavior rather than specific forms of helping (e.g., comforting) that may be more prevalent and more impactful on adolescent friend outcomes. Hence, the current study drew upon a recently developed multidimensional measure of prosocial behavior (Nielson et al. 2017) to distinguish five types of prosocial behavior that may be unique in friendships during adolescence. ...
... This finding is meaningful in that helping friends has a positive impact on adolescent subjective wellbeing independent of its impact on friendship quality. As previous research on prosocial behavior has found positive child outcomes related to prosocial behavior (e.g., self-esteem; Fu et al. 2017), being kind and helping friends can promote subjective well-being in adolescents. Prosocial behavior may facilitate life satisfaction because increasing another's welfare may bring a sense of worth (Grant and Gino 2010) and joy to the giver (Eisenberg et al. 2016). ...
... For example, Miller et al. (1981) demonstrated that children's sharing with needy children was positively correlated with self-esteem whereas children's lack of sharing (i.e., retaining tokens for themselves) was negatively correlated with self-esteem. For another example, a longitudinal study also revealed that prosocial behavior directly predicted subsequent selfesteem (Fu et al. 2017). In addition, prosocial behavior may enhance self-worth through others' gratitude and acknowledgment and also provides a means for bolstering feelings about the self. ...
... To be more specific, the direct effect of prosocial behavior on self-esteem was not statistically significant after controlling for the satisfaction of relatedness needs at school (i.e., the first mediator), which perhaps accounted for why self-esteem (i.e., the second mediator) did not play an mediating role in the path from prosocial behavior to SWB in school. This explanation might also help elucidate why this result was inconsistent with the existing research (e.g., Fu et al. 2017), as the prior studies did not consider the mediating role of the satisfaction of relatedness needs at school in the relation between prosocial behavior and self-esteem. However, this result is supported by, as well as may be explained by, the social acceptance model (Twenge and Campbell 2001). ...
Article
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We examined the multiple mediating effects of the satisfaction of relatedness needs at school and self-esteem in the relation between prosocial behavior and subjective well-being (SWB) in school among elementary school students employing a four-wave longitudinal design with six-month time intervals. At the baseline assessment, 1058 Chinese elementary school students (575 males; Mage = 9.44) completed a multi-measure questionnaire. A total of 776 students participated in the study on all four occasions. Results of structural equation modeling showed that: (a) Prosocial behavior at Time 1 positively predicted SWB in school at Time 4. (b) The satisfaction of relatedness needs at school at Time 2 mediated the path from prosocial behavior at Time 1 to SWB in school at Time 4; the mediating effect of self-esteem at Time 3 between prosocial behavior at Time 1 and SWB in school at Time 4 was not significant. (c) Prosocial behavior at Time 1 showed indirect effects on SWB in school at Time 4 successively via the satisfaction of relatedness needs at school at Time 2 and self-esteem at Time 3. Limitations of the study and implication of the results were discussed.
... Since previous scholars have reported direct and indirect positive relations between gratitude, forgiveness, happiness, and prosocial behavior (Meier and Stutzer, 2008;Rudd et al., 2014;Light et al., 2015;Sulemana, 2016;Riek and DeWit, 2018;Yost-Dubrow and Dunham, 2018), a positive relationship between these variables and prosocial behavior in bullying was anticipated. Moreover, prosocial behavior was expected to influence character strengths and happiness, as previous empirical evidence has shown (Lerner et al., 2003;Dunn et al., 2014;Aknin et al., 2015;Carlo et al., 2015;Fu et al., 2017;Al-yaaribi et al., 2018;Bieda et al., 2019). Finally, no hypothesis was made about the effect of gender and adolescence stage in the proposed model due to the fact that the current literature is inconclusive and even contradictory (Carlo et al., 2007(Carlo et al., , 2015Luengo Kanacri et al., 2013;Flynn et al., 2014;Van der Graaff et al., 2014;Padilla-Walker et al., 2018). ...
... Results from the alternative model suggest that prosocial bystander behavior positively relates to virtues and happiness in adolescence. This evidence is consistent with past literature that reports a positive impact of prosocial behavior in virtues development (Lerner et al., 2003;Dunn et al., 2014;Aknin et al., 2015;Carlo et al., 2015;Fu et al., 2017;Al-yaaribi et al., 2018;Curry et al., 2018;Bieda et al., 2019). Although the mechanism underlying this relationship remains unclear, the current body of the literature suggests that the effect of happiness in prosocial behavior is related to adolescents' perceptions about positive consequences of their behavior in their own and others' wellbeing (Bierhoff, 2002;Rudd et al., 2014;Paulus and Moore, 2016). ...
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The relationships among character strengths (forgiveness and gratitude), happiness, and prosocial bystander behavior in bullying were analyzed. The sample includes 500 (early adolescents) and 500 (middle adolescents) of both genders, between 12 and 18 years old (M age = 14.70, SD = 1.58). Two structural equation models were calculated. Results of the first model indicated that forgiveness, gratitude, and happiness had a direct positive relation with prosocial bystander behavior. Furthermore, human strengths were indirectly related to prosocial behavior in bullying for this effect in happiness. The second model showed that prosocial bystander behavior had a positive effect on human strengths and happiness. Multigroup analyses indicated that gender and stage of adolescence did not moderate the relations found in the model. Overall findings suggest a reciprocal relationship between character strengths, happiness, and prosocial bystander behavior.
... Self-esteem can be measured from a global perspective (e.g., assessing child overall sense of self-worth; Kernis, 2005), but also from a situational perspective (e.g., assessing child perceived competence on a given task after completing it; Lam et al., 2008). Child self-esteem is an important determinant of child psychosocial functioning; higher child self-esteem is intimately tied to a number of key developmental outcomes, including better mental health (Sowislo & Orth, 2013), higher resilience to stress (Rector & Roger, 1997), higher levels of well-being (e.g., higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction, Baiocco et al., 2018), more prosocial behaviors (Fu et al., 2017), overall better interpersonal outcomes (Cameron & Granger, 2019) and higher school performance (though for a critical review, see Baumeister et al., 2003). As such and particularly in Western countries where interventions aiming to foster child self-esteem are widely implemented since the 1970s, low child self-esteem is commonly seen by adults as a pervasive and worrisome problem that needs to be addressed (Brummelman et al., 2017). ...
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Praise may have different effects on child self-esteem, depending on its informational and evaluative value. In this multiphase, multimethod investigation, we assessed the interplaying role of two outcome-oriented praises that differed in their informational and evaluative value (i.e., descriptive and non-specific praise) on indicators of child self-esteem. In phase 177 mothers reported on their usage of descriptive and non-specific praise, while their child (M = 10.09 years old) reported on their level of self-esteem. In phase 2, a subsample of 43 children completed an experimental art task during which an experimenter offered either descriptive or non-specific praise. Children then rated their competence at that task. Results from phase 1 showed that mother usage of descriptive and non-specific praise interacted to predict child self-esteem. Specifically, the relation between descriptive praise and child self-esteem was positive (vs. non-significant) when mothers used moderate to high (vs. low) amounts of non-specific praise. Furthermore, the relation between non-specific praise and child self-esteem was negative (vs. non-significant) when mothers used low (vs. moderate to high) levels of descriptive praise. Results from phase 2 showed that differences between descriptive and non-specific praise conditions emerged on child perceived competence for children reporting lower (but not higher) global self-esteem. Specifically, children with lower global self-esteem rated themselves as more competent when given descriptive (rather than non-specific) praise. Results underlie the relevance of including descriptive elements when offering outcome-oriented praise to children. They also advance the field by identifying different ways to offer outcome-oriented praise.
... Specifically, the findings showed that prosocial behavior displayed significant, positive correlations with social support, self-esteem, and hope. These findings are consistent with other studies (de Guzman et al., 2012;Fu et al., 2017;Padilla-Walker et al., 2011). Furthermore, our findings revealed that perceived social support positively related to prosocial behavior, which is also consistent with the findings of previous research (de Guzman et al., 2012). ...
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We investigated the development of individual differences in prosocial behavior among adolescents from the perspective of positive psychology. Specifically, derived from the engine model of well-being (Jayawickreme et al., 2012), we examined a social-cognitive-motivational (chain) mediation model of adolescents’ prosocial behavior, in which social support was hypothesized to relate to self-esteem, which in turn was hypothesized to relate to hope, which in turn was hypothesized to relate to prosocial behavior. A total of 1681 adolescents (802 boys and 879 girls; ages = 12–19 years, M = 15.86, SD = 1.72) from Mainland China completed the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale, Children’s Hope Scale and the Prosocial Behavior subscale of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Social support was associated positively with the adolescents’ self-esteem, hope and prosocial behavior, and prosocial behavior was associated positively with self-esteem and hope. Structural equation modeling analyses showed that self-esteem and hope fully mediated the relation between social support and prosocial behavior, with hope accounting for 45.12% and the path from self-esteem to hope accounting for 54.88% of the relation between social support and adolescents’ prosocial behavior, providing support for the chain mediation model. The limitations of the study and the significance of the findings for promoting adolescents’ prosocial behavior are discussed.
... A discrepancy in self-verification or reflected appraisal, both within the individual and group context, negatively impacted emotions and self-regulation (Cast & Burke, 2002;Keith & Scheuerman, 2018). Self-esteem depends on many factors, and different types of relationships can produce different responses in adolescents (Fu et al., 2017). Research produced mixed, often contradictory results, with the need to consider juvenile delinquents on a case-by-case basis when examining self-esteem and possible interventions. ...
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The validity of the Single-Item Self-Esteem Scale (SISE) in adolescents was not well established, and how self-esteem manifested in newly incarcerated juvenile delinquents was poorly described. Using a retrospective study with archival records, the SISE was compared to other measures of self-esteem, grit, mental health, and academic self-concept in a small juvenile detention center in the Midwest of the United States. Demographic data were analyzed, and a correlation, intraclass correlation, and kappa statistic were run to test relationships and reliability. The SISE was found to be a reliable and efficient tool to use with adolescents and juvenile delinquents. Policy recommendations applicable to juvenile delinquents and schools in general give direction using the findings.
... Past work shows that adolescents' sex is related to initial levels of both self-regulation and prosocial behavior (girls are advantaged in both constructs, Böhm, Smedler, & Forssberg, 2004; Padilla-Walker & Christensen, 2011), though sex does not necessarily moderate growth in or relations between these constructs and other aspects of positive youth development (Fu, Padilla-Walker, & Brown, 2017;Raffaelli, Corckett, & Shen, 2005). As such, we anticipated that girls would report higher initial levels of intentional self-regulation and prosocial behavior toward strangers than boys. ...
Article
Introduction: Couched in Positive Youth Development (PYD) theory and relevant empirical work, this study investigated bidirectional associations between intentional self-regulation and prosocial behavior toward strangers from age 12 to age 18. Method: Participants included 500 adolescents (52% female, 77% European American; age Time 1 = 12 years, Time 2 = 14 years, Time 3 = 16 years, Time 4 = 18 years) from the Northwestern United States. Adolescents self-reported on their intentional self-regulation and prosocial behavior toward strangers across four time points. A random-intercept cross-lagged panel model (RICLPM) was estimated in order to assess bidirectionality while avoiding conflating intra- and inter-individual variability. Results: Results revealed intentional self-regulation and prosocial behavior toward strangers were bidirectionally related during early adolescence (i.e., from age 12 to 14). During mid-to-late adolescence (i.e. age 14 to 18), prosocial behavior toward strangers facilitated intentional selfregulation, whereas intentional self-regulation did not drive the development of prosocial behavior toward strangers. Conclusions: Findings indicate that early adolescence may be a particularly plastic developmental period in terms of PYD. Findings also suggest that investigations of relations between adolescents' personal assets and contribution factors merit further scholarly attention. Several directions for future research are presented.
... The following conditions can be considered when designing a program. At the same time, programs improving self-esteem could contribute to reducing the occurrence of violence in schools by increasing the tendency of prosocial behavior among all children in the long term (Fu, Padilla-Walker, & Brown, 2017). ...
Article
Background Children's aggressive behaviors remain a critical global concern that may cause harm to other children's behavioral, emotional and psychological, social, and academic functions. However, in this context, the possibility that children's aggressive behaviors might be responsive consequences triggered by the antecedent victimization should not be dismissed. In order to explore the pathway from victimization to later aggression, the structural relationships among victimization, self-esteem, social capital within the family, and aggression were tested, followed by further examination of the mediating roles of social capital within the family and the sequential mediating role of self-esteem and social capital in the pathway. Method To test this hypothesized model, the responses of 2,844 fourth graders (48.4 % female), extracted from the Korean Youth Panel Survey (KYPS) were used. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was employed to test the hypothesized model using Mplus 7.4. Results According to the findings, victimization indirectly influenced later displays of aggression, but not directly. In addition, social capital either from parent(s) or sibling(s) was significantly mediated in the pathway from victimization to aggression. Lastly, when considering self- esteem in the model, the sequential mediating role of self-esteem and social capital from parent(s) was confirmed in the pathway, but not for the other sequential mediating role of self-esteem and social capital from sibling(s). Conclusion The study's findings reveal the necessity of reconsidering the adequacy of a punitive approach towards children who display aggression. They also provide guidance for determining where to intervene in preventing victimized children from developing aggression. Practical implications are discussed accordingly.
... This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. 9 COVID-19 HEALTH BEHAVIORS associated with pro-social behavior more generally (Fu et al., 2017). Furthermore, belief in negative stereotypes could be related to a more general negative view of others, which could also impact prosocial behavior such as taking health precautions. ...
... Moreover, When IE is high those who endorse a high level of JWB may be adversely emotionally impacted by a faulty causal attribution. A negative self-causal-attribution may damage self-esteem, and low self-esteem may adversely impact compassion (Fu, Padilla-Walker, & Brown, 2017;Ypsilanti, 2018). ...
Thesis
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In this study, a recalled experience of having warm and responsive parents, degree of endorsement of a generalized just world belief, and reported adolescent experiences of injustice were tested in a structural equation model for fit with predicting compassion in a sample of 201 self-identified counseling students. The participants were invited by advertisements on social media and emails to counseling programs and a counselor education listserv. All variables were measured via survey. Structural equation model results found an acceptable fitting model, χ² (113) = 317.77, p < 0.001, RMSEA = 0.095; CFI = 0.91; PNFI = 0.72. In the model, injustice experiences and a generalized just world belief were found to be significant negative predictors of compassion. Recalled parenting was not supported to be a significant predictor. Last, injustice experiences moderated the relationship between the just world belief and compassion. When a high level of injustice experiences was reported, the relationship between compassion and the just world belief was stronger (β = -0.43, t (200) = -6.12, p < 0.05) than when a low level of injustice experiences was reported, (β = -0.20, t (200) = -2.78, p < 0.05).
... For nonprofits, these behaviors may include helping, donating, and volunteering. Research in the area of donor psychology has identified a number of factors that influence an individual's prosocial behavior, such as sympathy (Small & Simonsohn, 2008), belonging (Lee & Shrum, 2012), or self-esteem (Fu, Walker, & Brown, 2017). Apart from responding to intrinsic motivators, people react to communication stimuli that influence their perceptions of the nonprofit's image and prosocial behaviors directed toward the property. ...
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This research draws on signaling theory to investigate the impact of corporate sponsorship of nonprofits on consumer prosocial behavior. Across two experiments, the authors examine how information about the sponsorship engagement of a nonprofit organization and people’s degree of familiarity with the nonprofit influence their willingness to engage in prosocial behavior toward the nonprofit. Study 1 shows that consumers are more willing to offer support to a nonprofit if they believe the nonprofit has extensive sponsorship engagement. Further, Study 1 shows that people’s perceptions of their donations’ impact on the nonprofit transmit the positive effects of sponsorship engagement to willingness to donate. Study 2, which is based on different sponsorship rosters and different measures, confirms Study 1 findings regarding the direct effects of sponsorship engagement on willingness to support and the indirect effects on willingness to donate. Implications for corporate sponsors and nonprofits are discussed.
... While some scholars have discussed the mediating role of CS in the partial relationship between user SC and PB, the current study builds on and expands on that discussion. Specifically, this study has enriched the findings of Fu et al. (2017), who argued that a variety of factors, including emotional factors, self-esteem, and empathy, are associated directly or indirectly with PB. Additionally, this study asserts that users can influence PB by affecting their CS in SC, and thus, the perceptions of the users on CS (individual cognitive factors) may be viewed as a mediating variable affecting these linkages. ...
Article
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The social currency, the existing potential resource in the social networks and communities of an individual, has become more significant in the era of information technology. Meanwhile, the rapid development of Internet service, especially its application on mobile devices, brings many new contents of prosocial behaviors (PBs), which benefits both individuals and communities. Specifically, social currency plays a positive role in promoting PB, forming positive personalities, promoting positive social adaptation, and contributing to human survival and social development. However, the theoretical research in this field still lags far behind the development of practice, and the research on the impact of social currency on PB remains exceedingly scarce. Grounded in the social exchange theory (SET), the present study collects a total of 497 WeChat user questionnaires, constructs a model for the influence mechanism of social currency on PB, and tests the hypothesis through hierarchical regression. According to the results obtained, it was found that the social currency is positively associated with PB, and users with a more social currency are more likely to act prosocially on their own. The PB of an individual is then influenced by the social currency generated through collective self-esteem (CS) so that the perception of CS can be considered as a mediating variable. Moreover, the communication network heterogeneity (CNH) moderates the above relationship, and the degree of heterogeneity will have different effects on the relationship of CS. The obtained conclusions enrich the previous theoretical results of PB and provided new insights for social managers to enhance the prosocial-related behaviors for the group, organization, and society.
... According to self-determination theory, people have a basic need for competence (Deci & Ryan, 2008). The basic psychological needs of individuals with positive self-evaluations are more likely to be satisfied well (Ümmet, 2015), thus they may conduct Internet altruistic behavior for prosocial purposes (Fu et al., 2017). Whereas, individuals with negative core self-evaluations would shape the selves and promote positive self-presentation online (Jang et al., 2018). ...
Article
The association of Internet altruistic behavior with cyberbullying victimization and the moderating mechanisms underlying this relation are still unclear. This study examined the relation between Internet altruistic behavior and cyberbullying victimization, and the moderation effects of core self-evaluations and gender in this relation. 820 Chinese adolescents (48.78% males; mean age = 13.12) completed Internet Altruistic Behavior Scale, Cyber Bullying Inventory, and Core Self-Evaluations Scale. Results indicated that Internet altruistic behaviors predicted adolescents’ cyberbullying victimization. The moderation effects of core self-evaluations and gender revealed that adolescents low (versus high) in core self-evaluations and males (versus females) were more likely to be cyberbullied when they used more Internet altruistic behaviors. The three-way interaction effect indicated that the relationship between Internet altruistic behavior and cyberbullying victimization became stronger among males low in core self-evaluations than female those, whereas, Internet altruistic behavior did not significantly predict cyberbullying victimization among both males and females high in core self-evaluations. Internet altruistic behavior plays an important role in adolescents’ cyberbullying victimization, and core self-evaluations and gender moderate this relation respectively and simultaneously. It reminds schools and parents to focus on males low in core self-evaluations and promote adolescents’ core self-evaluations to provide appropriate interventions for creating a good Internet environment and reducing the risk of cyberbullying victimization.
... Engagement in prosocial behavior is likely to be related to the beliefs a person holds. As many studies have demonstrated, holding positive beliefs about oneself (self-esteem), one's life (life satisfaction), and the future (optimism) is associated with prosocial behavior (e.g., Baumsteiger, 2017;Fu et al., 2017;Moynihan et al., 2015;Zhang & Zhao, 2021). It has been found that all these three beliefs reflect a general tendency to approach reality in a positive way, being components of an underlying cognitive orientation (POS), also called positivity. ...
Article
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Prosocial behavior is undertaken voluntarily to benefit others and includes a range of actions, such as helping, sharing, caring, and comforting. Our study concerned psychological mechanisms stimulating prosocial behavior explaining it from both the within-individual (daily fluctuations) and inter-individual (individual differences) perspectives. We tested a model in which positive orientation and positive affect directly predict within-individual variability in prosocial behavior and in which positive affect mediates the relationship between positive orientation and daily prosocial behavior. These two-level mediation mechanisms were investigated using an intensive longitudinal study design with seven daily measurements on a sample of 181 undergraduates and 1119 daily observations. The results confirm that, with personality traits, sex, and prosocial behavior during the previous day adjusted for, inter- and within-individual variability in positive orientation predict daily prosocial behavior. Inter-individual variability in positive affect is a significant predictor of prosocial behavior and a mediator between positive orientation and daily prosocial behavior. No such mediation mechanism was detected for within-individual variability in positive affect. These results suggest several recommendations on how to stimulate prosocial behavior. By stimulating the general tendency to cultivate positive affective experiences and to view life in a positive light, it may be possible to prepare people to notice and respond to the needs of others.
... A large body of empirical research has shown the beneficial role of prosocial behaviour not only for the target but also for the provider of prosocial behaviour (e.g., Eisenberg & Eggum, 2008). Adolescents who engage in prosocial behaviour have a range of positive personal outcomes such as higher self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-concept clarity, well-being (Fu et al., 2017;Zuffianò et al., 2016), agreeableness (Hilbig et al., 2014) and academic achievement (Gerbino et al., 2017). At the relational level, adolescents who engage in prosocial behaviour are more likely to have positive peer relationships and high friendship into between and within-person variance and to examine cross-lagged relations at the within-person level. ...
Article
Introduction: Although empathy has been found to be related to prosocial behaviour, little is known about the longitudinal links between these two concepts during early adolescence, a unique window into developmental changes on empathy and prosocial behaviour considering the physical, cognitive, socio-emotional and contextual changes occurring during this period. Even though changes in adolescent empathy have been associated to changes in adolescent prosocial behaviour, studies examining this link on the within-person level are lacking. The present study investigated the within-adolescents longitudinal relations among empathy and prosocial behaviour. Methods: 383 French adolescents (MageT1 = 12.15, 50.4% male) reported on their empathy and prosocial behaviour each year across three years. In order to disentangle between-adolescent differences from within-adolescent processes, Random-Intercept Cross-Lagged Panel Models were applied. Results: At the between-person level, there was a strong positive association between empathy and prosocial behaviour. At the within-person level, adolescents who reported more empathy than usual reported higher than usual prosocial behaviour one year later. Conclusions: Adolescents with higher empathy compared to their peers tended to be those who reported higher prosocial behaviour. Changes in empathy within-adolescents were related to later within-adolescents’ change in prosocial behaviour. Free access: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1e0UhVu8lc8WS
... In elderly individuals, prosocial activities such as volunteering, have been found to foster social integration and may function as a stress buffer (Keyes & Haidt, 2003). Prosocial behaviour has also been associated with increased levels of self-esteem (Fu, Padilla-Walker, & Brown, 2017) and more positive self-evaluations (Carlo, Basilio, & Knight, 2016). ...
Article
Context: Increased attention has been placed on the role of technological artefacts in the promotion of prosocial behaviours. However, up to this date, there is still no systematic exploration of the effectiveness of robots and virtual agents as promoters of this type of behaviour. Goals: The goal of this paper is to map research on the effectiveness of interventions involving interaction with social robots and virtual agents in eliciting prosocial behaviours in humans, as well as to derive implications for future research and development of these agents. Method: We identified 272 publications relevant to our goals, retrieved from 7 pertinent digital libraries in the areas of Human-Computer Interaction and Psychology. The final sample of primary sources included 19 publications (reporting on the results of 23 independent studies) involving at least 1524 subjects. The sources included were peer-reviewed research articles involving direct contact with robots or virtual agents, published in English between January 1st of 2000 and May 31st of 2020. Results: Of the 23 studies included, 22% did not find evidence to support an association between interaction with social robots or virtual agents and engagement or intention to engage in prosocial behaviours; and 26% reported mixed results. The remaining 52% of the studies reported positive effects in prosociality resulting from interaction with robots or virtual agents. The majority of these studies included interaction with robots (n=20) and was aimed at invoking prosocial behaviours towards the socially interactive agent itself. Most studies presented a satisfactory level of quality. Conclusions: There is a potential promise for social robots and virtual agents to serve as elicitors of prosocial behaviour among humans, both directed at the wider community and at the robot or agent itself. Nonetheless, further research is warranted to clarify the design and interaction-related variables that can increase the level of effectiveness of these technological agents, specially in what concerns virtual agents.
... It is driven by the intrinsic and/or extrinsic motives such as altruism (desire to benefit others with no concern for self), egoism (desire to benefit the self), collectivism (desire to benefit collective members of a valued group) and/or principlism (desire to benefit others to uphold moral principles) (Batson et al., 2011;Slattery et al., 2019). These motives are underpinned by different sentiments such as promoting self-identity (Caprara and Steca, 2005;Ray et al., 2014), or feeling good about oneself through helping others (Fu et al., 2017;Lavertu et al., 2020), or expecting reciprocal benefits (Grant and Dutton, 2012;Yang et al., 2020). Therefore, the fundamental rationale behind prosocial behaviour can be seen to be self-serving, mutually beneficial, or socially acceptable. ...
Article
The growth of interactive technologies has fostered different online health communities (OHCs) where individuals share similar interests in health-related information and exchange social support to facilitate health outcomes. While OHCs offer a variety of benefits to society, it is challenged by surrounding issues of privacy concerns. Breach of privacy poses undesirable consequences for people, and thus privacy concerns can influence individuals' social support behaviour in OHC platforms. Moreover, willingness to engage in the community can be an outcome of prosocial behaviour, motivating people to offer additional social support on OHC platforms. Hence, addressing the role of engagement in a multi-actor online environment requires further attention. Drawing on social support theory, by examining the effects of privacy concerns, control of information, and community engagement, this study develops a framework to create an informed and sharing online community. Using survey data collected from different OHC platforms on Facebook, our study presents some interesting conclusions. Our results show that community engagement and privacy concerns can influence certain types of social support (i.e., information or emotional support), leading to OHC members' intention to participate. Our conceptual model and findings will inform both future research and policymakers.
... Adolescents in the current sample exhibited similar levels of anxiety symptoms, as measured by the MASC-10, as a large sample of low-income adolescents drawn from three large cities across the United States (i.e., 0.07 SD difference; Feldman et al., 2021). Finally, adolescents in the current sample reported similar levels of self-esteem, as measured by the RSES, in comparison to a sample of youth from two cities in the western United States (i.e., 0.93 SD difference; Fu et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Youth who experience aggression at the hands of peers are at an increased risk for a variety of adjustment difficulties, including depressive and anxiety symptoms and lower self-esteem. The links between peer victimization and internalizing problems are robust, but less work has been done to identify individual-level protective factors that might mitigate these outcomes. The current study investigated whether hope served as a moderator of the prospective links from peer victimization to depressive and anxiety symptoms and self-esteem during adolescence. Participants included 166 high school students (64% female; 88% Black/African American). Youth completed self-report measures at three different time points across the Spring semester of an academic year. As predicted, hope interacted with peer victimization to predict changes in depressive and anxiety symptoms over the course of the semester. That is, for youth with low levels of hope, peer victimization predicted more stable patterns of depressive and anxiety symptoms. For adolescents with average levels of hope, however, peer victimization did not influence anxiety and depressive symptoms over time. Finally, for adolescents with high levels of hope, peer victimization predicted greater decreases in anxiety symptoms over time. Hope did not interact with peer victimization to predict self-esteem. Rather, hope uniquely predicted higher levels of self-esteem, whereas peer victimization uniquely predicted lower levels of self-esteem. The current study provides initial support for the notion that hope can serve as a protective factor among youth who are victims of peer aggression.
... However, the exact developmental patterns are still debated. Some studies show increases in prosocial behavior during adolescence (Fu, Padilla-Walker, & Brown, 2017;Padilla-Walker, Carlo, & Memmott-Elison, 2018), whereas others find decreases or stabilization (Malti et al., 2015). This has recently been interpreted as evidence that prosocial behavior should be regarded as a multi-dimensional construct, comprising many behaviors such as cooperating, helping, and giving. ...
Chapter
Adolescent development is often regarded as a period of social sensitivities, given that brain development continues into the early 20s in interplay with social experiences. In this review, we present adolescence as a unique window for prosocial development; that is, behavior that benefits others. We present evidence for multiple pathways of neural sensitivity that contribute to key developmental processes related to prosocial behaviors, including valuing, perspective taking, and goal-flexibility. Yet, these processes are dependent on several contextual factors including recipients, audience effects, and strategic motivations. Next, we present intervention findings suggesting that prosocial experiences within these various contexts are crucial for adolescents developing into engaged and contributing members of society. These findings suggest a new interpretation of the elevated socio-affective sensitivity and emerging socio-cognitive development in adolescence, focusing on opportunities rather than risks.
... Our study found that self-esteem fully mediated the relationship between leisure experience and aggression, suggesting that perhaps certain cognitive factors, such as self-esteem, may play an intermediary role between individuals' daily experiences and aggression. Self-esteem is widely influenced by the social environment and individuals' own experiences 54 , and it is also thought to be a possible antecedent of behaviors 27,55 . Some theories suggest that to avoid the lowering of self-concept, individuals may show externally oriented anger after the threat to the ego 56 . ...
Article
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Previous research has shown that both the daily experiences and personal traits of adolescents are linked to aggression. Our aim was to further investigate the relationship between leisure experience, self-esteem, and aggression according to the general aggression model. In addition, within frustration-aggression theory, we proposed that leisure experience and aggression have a negative correlation. Furthermore, based on broaden-and-build theory, we explored the mediating role of self-esteem between leisure experience and aggression. The participants included 660 Chinese teenagers with an average age of 14.3. Among them, male students accounted for 310 (49.4%) and female students accounted for 318 (50.6%). The results showed that leisure experience was positively correlated with self-esteem and negatively correlated with aggression, while self-esteem was also negatively correlated with aggression. Additionally, self-esteem fully mediated the relationship between leisure experience and aggression. Our study could enrich research on leisure and provide a basis for protective factors of aggression in adolescents.
... Thus, acute stress induced by a social stressor in the TSST paradigm might drain energy resources, and stimulate a flight reaction, but might also threaten individuals� selfesteem (Dickerson & Kemeny, 2004;Het et al., 2009). One way to protect self-esteem is by helping others when the opportunity arises (Fu et al., 2017;Padilla-Walker et al., 2020). Future research should focus more on the processes triggered by the TSST that are responsible for prosocial behavior in order to predict when acute stress leads to an increase or decrease in prosociality. ...
Article
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To date, only a few studies have examined whether and when stressed individuals are still prosocially motivated and willing to help others, which is in contrast to the relevance and importance that helping others has for our society. The present study investigates the impact of affective and biopsychological acute stress responses on prosociality (prosocial motivation, helping behavior) under controlled laboratory conditions. In addition, it was examined whether this relationship is affected by individuals' current life stress and the cognitive ability to keep stress-related thoughts at bay. To induce acute stress responses (heart rate, negative affect, salivary alpha-amylase, cortisol), 55 individuals (28 women, M = 24 years old, SD = 4.53) were exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Current life stress (cortisol) was assessed over two days of participants' everyday lives. Thought control ability was assessed with the think/no-think paradigm and was additionally manipulated after the acute stress intervention (TSST) via instructions. The results showed that acute stress was positively associated with prosociality. Specifically, negative affect was positively related to prosocial motivation and salivary alpha-amylase was positively associated with helping behavior. Current life stress moderated the relationship between salivary cortisol and helping behavior: the association was positive at low levels of current life stress. The instruction to control one's thoughts but not participants' general ability to do so reduced stress responses (negative affect). In sum, the findings suggest that prosociality increases following acute stress and that this effect depends on the level of current life stress. Additionally, adopting the strategy of controlling stress-related thoughts was found to be promising for attenuating individuals' stress responses.
... There is growing research that indicates that prosocial behaviour is negatively associated with aggression, selfesteem and interpersonal relationships. [21][22][23][24][25] Although prosocial behaviour has received much attention in recent years, few studies have addressed the influence of prosocial behaviour in Chinese migrant children. In a survey of 761 left-behind children and 1392 migrant children 11-17 y of age in Zhejiang province, eastern China, the prosocial score was lower in left-behind children than in migrant children. ...
Article
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Background: According to the 2017 China National Education Development Statistics Bulletin, there were 14.07 million rural-urban migrant children in the compulsory education stage. The mental health of migrant children in China has drawn increasing attention in research. The objective of this study was to compare subjective well-being, self-esteem, prosocial behaviour and family functioning of migrant children vs local children in Shanghai and to explore their relationship. Methods: A survey was conducted among 2229 students (9-17 y of age; male 52.0%, female 48.0%) and their parents from grades 4 to 8 in four primary schools and four middle schools in Shanghai in 2016. The sample consisted of 1333 migrant children and 896 urban children in three migrant schools and five public schools. A total of 959 rural-urban migrant children and 374 urban hukou migrant children were recruited. The questionnaire for students included the Personal Well-Being Index - School Children (PWI-SC), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Positive and Negative Affect Scale for Children, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Family APGAR Index and prosocial behaviour domain of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. In the questionnaire for parents, the Personal Well-Being Index and Social Support Rating Scale were used in addition to the sociodemographic characteristics. These data were analysed using one-way analysis of variance, correlation analysis and multiple linear regression. Results: Rural-urban migrant children reported significantly lower PWI-SC, SWLS, positive affect, prosocial behaviour, self-esteem and Family APGAR Index scores and reported higher negative affect scores than local children (p<0.01). The prevalence rate of abnormal prosocial behaviour among rural-urban migrant children was 10%, which was higher than that of local children (5.9%; p<0.001). Compared with rural-urban migrant children in public schools, the SWLS, prosocial behaviour and Family APGAR Index scores of the children in migrant schools were higher and the prevalence rate of abnormal prosocial behaviour was lower (p<0.01). Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that the self-esteem and Family APGAR Index had predictive effects on subjective well-being and prosocial behaviour scores of rural-urban migrant children. Conclusions: Rural-urban migrant children are susceptible to mental health problems. Additional public policy and interventions by practitioners are needed to support rural-urban migrant children.
... Moreover, it can promote the positive social adaptation of individuals and has a positive significance for the survival and development of them (Lay & Hoppmann, 2015). Adolescence is a period of rapid social and moral development, and adolescent prosocial behavior has been found to be associated with a variety of positive outcomes, such as harmonious peer relationships and higher self-esteem (Fu et al., 2017;Zhang & Kou, 2011). Thus, prosocial behavior is an important developmental component of an individual's preadulthood (Lin & Li, 2005). ...
Article
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Prosocial behavior acting as a precondition for shaping ideal interpersonal relationships, is curial in the development of a person’s social competence. This study examined the association between empathy and prosocial behavior in a sample of 1171 adolescents in China. An empathy questionnaire, social support rating scale, and helping attitude scale were applied in the study. Empathy had an influence on prosocial behavior through social support as a mediating factor. The mediating effect of social support between empathy and prosocial behavior was mainly manifested through perceived social support. The current findings imply that cultivating the empathy of adolescents and promoting their perceived social support may be effective to enhancing their prosocial behavior.
... Prosocial behavior is the basis of social competence and moral development during childhood and adolescence (Eisenberg, Spinrad, & Knafo-noam, 2015). Factors of prosocial behaviors for example are selfesteem (Afolabi, 2014;Fu, Padilla-Walker, & Brown, 2017) peer influence (van Hoorn, van Dijk, Meuwese, Rieffe, & Crone, 2016), Self-efficacy (Caroli & Sagone, 2013) and self-regulation (Carlo, Crockett, Wolff, & Beal, 2012). ...
... Previous research has demonstrated that adolescents' prosocial behavior is positively associated with optimism (e.g., Arslan, 2019). Furthermore, longitudinal evidence shows that prosocial behavior is a significant predictor of selfesteem (e.g., Fu et al., 2017) and life satisfaction (e.g., Sun & Shek, 2010) during adolescence. Thus, given that self-esteem, life satisfaction, and optimism are indicators of POS , adolescents' prosocial behavior likely promotes their POS. ...
Article
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Adolescents’ friendship quality and positivity have been shown to be related to their prosocial behavior. However, little is known about how friendship quality is associated longitudinally with positivity and prosocial behavior. To address this gap, this study examined longitudinal bidirectional relations among friendship quality, positivity, and prosocial behavior in early adolescents. A sample of 3944 Chinese early adolescents (Mage = 10.44 years; 54.4% male) completed multiple measurements of relevant constructs on four occasions at six-month intervals. After controlling for sex and family socioeconomic status (SES), cross-lagged path analyses revealed bidirectional relations between positive friendship quality and prosocial behavior; positivity and prosocial behavior; and positive friendship quality and positivity. Negative friendship quality predicted subsequent prosocial behavior and positivity more than the reverse relations. Furthermore, tests of indirect effects indicated that positive friendship quality indirectly predicted prosocial behavior via positivity and vice versa; negative friendship quality indirectly predicted prosocial behavior via friendship quality and vice versa. The findings provide a more comprehensive understanding of how friendship quality and positivity temporally interrelate with prosocial behavior in early adolescents from a positive youth development perspective, and they yield significant implications for prosocial behavior interventions.
... Prosocial behavior is influenced by both contextual factors and characteristics of the agent and target, yet the study of antecedents of prosocial behavior has mostly focused on exploring the agent's characteristics, such as perspective-taking, sympathy, self-esteem, self-regulation, and social class (e.g. Fu & Padilla-Walker, 2019;Fu et al., 2017;Guinote et al., 2015). In contrast, the effects of a target's characteristics on prosocial behavior have been relatively neglected. ...
Article
Social power predicts numerous important life outcomes and social orientations. Thus far, the research literature has mainly examined how an individual’s own power shapes interactions with others, whereas whether a target’s power affects social interactions has been relatively neglected. In particular, does a target’s power have an effect on the agent’s prosocial behavior? Furthermore, could culture along with the power distance dimension alter the effect of a target’s power on prosocial behavior? To explore these two research questions, we investigated the effect of a target’s power (power unspecified targets vs. powerful targets) on prosocial behavior in both China and the United States. Questionnaires measuring prosocial behavior toward power unspecified or powerful targets were distributed to Chinese and American emerging adults (n in total = 893). According to the results, both Chinese and Americans were less likely to help powerful targets compared with power unspecified targets. Moreover, the Chinese were less prosocial toward both power unspecified and powerful targets in comparison to the Americans. These findings highlight the key roles of a target’s power and culture in shaping an individual’s prosocial behavior.
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The purpose of this study was to examine (a) whether social support relates to subjective well-being (SWB) directly and indirectly through emotion regulation (including cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression) and prosocial behavior in adolescents and (b) whether such associations differ across gender. A total of 512 Chinese adolescents ranging in age from 10 to 17 were surveyed. Results showed that cognitive reappraisal and prosocial behavior mediated the relationship between social support and SWB; moreover, multigroup analyses indicated gender differences. For male adolescents, only indirect pathways through cognitive reappraisal and prosocial behavior from social support to SWB were significant. For female adolescents, a significant direct pathway from social support to SWB was also found. Applications and limitations are discussed.
Article
Involvement in social and community activities has been identified as a key factor in health and well-being. This paper focuses on the health and well-being benefits of a particular type of group involvement: associative participation. The main aim is to identify the type of participation that brings more benefits to the members. Based on previous research, we expect that health and well-being would be higher when there is engagement with the association, when group involvement is more intense and when the type of group involvement is deeper (voluntary work or associative leadership). An 848-individuals sample, recruited from Portugal, Spain and Brazil, responded to an online survey disseminated mainly through associations. Findings show that participation in the associative movement is positively associated with the mental health, physical health and well-being of the associates, but that this effect is only evident for more involved types of participation. Our results suggest that the quality of involvement is associated with a positive outcome: participating in the activities, doing voluntary work or serving as an associative leader.
Article
This study aimed to test the relationship between self-esteem and Internet altruistic behavior (IAB) as well as the mediating effect of online social support (OSS) and the associated gender differences. By using structural equation modeling (SEM), 383 Chinese undergraduates (aged from 17 to 22 years) completed a paper-and-pencil questionnaire that assessed their IAB, OSS, and self-esteem. Results show a significant positive correlation between self-esteem and IAB. OSS plays a complete mediating role between self-esteem and IAB. Such mediating role is mainly observed among males and is not significant among females. This study deepens our understanding of how self-esteem affects IAB and provides important practical guidance for cultivating the IAB of individuals.
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Recent literature has highlighted the role of social support in improving self-esteem. This study aimed to measure self-esteem and its association with social support among married women aged 30–75 years, in Riyadh city, Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional survey was conducted during 2015–2016, on 1883 married Saudi women visiting the primary health care centers. Female data collectors conducted questionnaire-based interview and took anthropometric measurements. Self-esteem and social support were measured by utilizing the Rosenberg self-esteem scale and social support survey scale, respectively. The majority of women reported moderate to high levels of self-esteem. Multivariate linear regression analysis found that one unit increase in availability of emotional support, education, and physical activity were significantly associated with 0.18 (0.22, 0.39, p < .001), 0.17 (0.26, 0.48, p < .001) and 0.09 (0.39, 1.13) increase in self-esteem scores, respectively. Similarly, a unit increase in tangible support, education and physical activity were significantly associated with 0.20 (0.27, 0.44, p < .001), 0.17 (0.26, 0.47, p < .001), and 0.07 (0.17, 0.89) unit increase in self-esteem scores, respectively. The results highlight the importance of emotional and tangible support associated with high self-esteem. We recommend that social support groups should be created for providing counseling and support to the socially isolated women with low self-esteem.
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Children act prosocially already in their first years of life. Research has shown that this early prosociality is mostly motivated by sympathy for others, but that, over the course of development, children’s prosocial behaviors become more varied, more selective, and more motivationally and cognitively complex. Here, we review recent evidence showing that, starting at around age 5, children become gradually capable of strategically using prosocial acts as instrumental means to achieve ulterior goals such as to improve their reputation, to be chosen as social partners, to elicit reciprocity, and to navigate interpersonal obligations. Children’s sympathy-based prosociality is thus being extended and reshaped into a behavioral repertoire that enables individuals to pursue and balance altruistic, mutualistic, and selfish motives.
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Children's prosocial behaviour is a core feature of their social development as well as their resilience, but it has not yet been examined in siblings exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). The goals of the present study were: (1) To describe prosocial behaviour between siblings exposed to IPV by exploring linkages with exposure to violence, sibling spacing, child age, and self‐esteem; (2) To investigate if prosocial behaviour varied as a function of sibling relationship quality; and (3) To assess if child adjustment problems were related to sibling prosocial behaviour. Forty‐seven families with two school‐aged siblings aged eight and eleven years on average were recruited from the community. Observations of unstructured sibling interaction were coded for prosocial behaviour as well as declined prosocial offers and requests. Children reported on their self‐esteem and on the quality of their sibling relationships. Mothers reported on internalizing and externalizing problems for each child. Results showed that prosocial behaviour was positively associated with greater sibling warmth and sibling spacing, but not related to exposure to IPV or child self‐esteem. Declined prosocial behaviours were positively associated with maternal reports of physical IPV and negatively associated with child age. Prosocial behaviour differed significantly across relationship typologies; it was more frequent in intense relationships, and when sibling spacing was larger. By examining sibling prosociality, this exploratory study shed new light on resilience in children exposed to IPV. Results were discussed within a resilience framework.
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Empathy is an important prerequisite for prosocial behaviour (PB). However, different concepts and methodological tools have been used in research on the relationship between empathy and PB, leading to ambiguous results. This study used a meta‐analysis to explore this relationship and to identify the moderating variables. After a literature search, 62 studies and 146 samples with 71,310 participants were included. Our random effects model revealed a positive correlation of PB with both cognitive empathy (r = .32) and affective empathy (r = .30). In addition, the relationship between empathy and PB is moderated by culture, publication type, education level, and empathy measures. Our conclusion is that there is a significant correlation between empathy and PB that is influenced by sample characteristics and methodological factors.
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Framed in a positive youth development framework, the current study examines the association of classmate autonomy support with prosocial behavior in Chinese left-behind adolescents (i.e., adolescents who remain immobile in original regions when one or both of their parents have migrated to find work). Moreover, this study investigates whether left-behind adolescents' individual differences in self-esteem and grit moderated this association. To address these research aims, we examined these associations across two independent samples of left-behind adolescents [Study 1 (exploratory): N = 333, M age = 13.16, SD = 1.67; 48.3% girls; Study 2 (confirmatory): N = 246, M age = 15.78, SD = 1.50; 53.6% girls] recruited from different regions of mainland China. Study 1 showed that classmate autonomy support was positively correlated with prosocial behavior; self-esteem and grit moderated this association: for adolescents with low self-esteem, high grit was an important protective factor, fostering the positive association between classmate autonomy support and prosocial behavior. Furthermore, Study 2 replicated the results of Study 1 but also exhibited that, for adolescents with high self-esteem, high grit significantly buffered against the negative effect of low classmate autonomy support on ado-lescents' prosocial behavior. Taken together, the current study suggests that classmate autonomy support plays a crucial role in facilitating left-behind youths' prosocial behavior, and this association is differentiated by ado-lescents' self-esteem and grit.
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Previous studies have revealed a positive relationship between self-esteem and prosocial behavior. Based on social mentality theory, the authors propose that self-compassion as a self-soothing system moderates the relationship in adolescents girls and not in adolescent boys. A total of 540 adolescents from 12 to 14 years old completed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Self-Compassion Scale, and Prosocial Tendencies Measure. The results showed that both self-esteem and self-compassion were positively correlated with prosocial behavior, self-compassion moderated the relationship between self-esteem and altruistic or anonymous prosocial behavior, and self-compassion moderated the relationship between self-esteem and dire prosocial behavior and the moderating effect was moderated by gender. In conclusion, the present study indicates that self-esteem and self-compassion, as two important aspects of the self, are beneficial to prosocial behavior in adolescence. Self-compassion strengthens the relationship between self-esteem and specific prosocial behavior, especially for adolescent girls.
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The goal of the current study was to examine the predictive role of economic stress and community self-efficacy on prosocial behaviors toward friends and strangers, and civic engagement. In addition, we considered the multiplicative effects of economic stress and community self-efficacy on these distinct types of prosocial behaviors (different targets of prosocial behaviors). The sample consisted of 202 young adults (M age = 20.94 years; 76.5% women; 67.5% reported identifying as racially White; 7.7% Black; 5.7% Asian; 5.5% Native; 13.6% other and included groups such as Mestizo, mixed race, and Mexican) who reported on their economic stress, community self-efficacy, and tendencies to engage in prosocial behaviors toward friends and strangers as well as civic engagement. The results demonstrated that economic stress was not directly associated with prosocial behaviors or civic engagement. Community self-efficacy was positively associated with civic engagement and prosocial behaviors toward both friends and strangers. The interaction term was positively associated with prosocial behaviors toward friends. Discussion focuses on the critical role of community self-efficacy as a buffer against stress and as a predictor of multiple forms of prosocial behaviors.
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The present study sought to explore how support from one's family of origin predicts the development of self‐esteem across the transition to adulthood for sexual minority individuals compared with their heterosexual peers. Familial relationships have an influence on the development of self‐esteem. Additionally, lesbian, gay, and bisexual emerging adults may perceive less support from their families than heterosexual peers. The present study used secondary data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent and Adult Health study. The study conducted a multiple group latent growth curve following the development of self‐esteem. Results indicated that feeling as though one's family understood them in adolescence was significantly associated with self‐esteem during adolescence for both sexual minority and majority individuals. Additionally, this sense of feeling understood by one's family was also associated with the rate of change of the developmental trajectory of self‐esteem across four time points. The study illustrates the lasting influence one's family of origin has during this important developmental moment. Results illustrated how familial understanding in adolescence was significantly associated with the development of self‐esteem for both sexual minority and sexual majority individuals. The relationship with the family of origin has a lasting impact into emerging adulthood, and practitioners working with families can help ensure support for sexual minority adolescents. This includes, but is not limited to, encouraging communication within the family to build a sense of understanding.
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The psychological literature has explored various factors that can influence social relationships over the years. While perfectionism has received less attention from researchers than others, its direct relationship with certain aggressive behaviours has been established. The results of this synthesis review of 18 research articles shows that maladaptive perfectionism leads to lower self-esteem and is also linked to different types of aggressive behaviour (indirect, covert). In general, a perfectionism oriented toward achievement with high standards (self-directed and with reduced external pressures) relates to higher self-esteem and prosocial behaviour. However, these concepts interact in a more complex way than is immediately apparent, since self-esteem, maladaptive thoughts and consequent social behaviour will vary, depending on the dimension of perfectionism. For this reason, future research is needed to gather more data to investigate this interaction.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the complex relationships between common bond attachment, common identity attachment, self-esteem and virtual community citizenship behavior (VCCB). This study identifies two broad categories of VCCB: citizenship behaviors directed toward benefitting other individuals (VCCBI) and citizenship behaviors directed toward benefitting the virtual community (VCCBC). Design/methodology/approach The authors apply partial least squares structural equation modeling to test the hypotheses, using a sample of 388 valid responses. Findings The results indicate that common bond attachment and common identity attachment have a significant effect on self-esteem, which, in turn, has a significant effect on VCCBI and VCCBC. The results also indicate that common bond attachment has a significant effect on VCCBI, and that common identity attachment has a significant effect on VCCBC. Originality/value This study contributes to a better understanding of VCCBs through common identity and common-bond theory, social identity theory and the stimulus-organism-response framework.
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The current study sought to address gender differences in prosocial behavior by creating and validating a multidimensional measure of prosocial behavior that more fully captures the ways that men help others. The new measure is directed toward family, friend, and strangers, and has five factors: defending, emotional support, inclusion, physical helping, and sharing. In Study 1, CFA analyses performed on a sample of 463 emerging adults online (mean age 23.42) revealed good model fit and divergent validity for each of the five factors. Study 2 replicated the analyses on a sample of 453 urban adolescents in the Northwest (mean age 18.37). Results established that all factors had good model fit, construct validity, and convergent validity. The discussion focuses on implications of this measure for future prosocial research including an increased diversity in how people (particularly men) help others and developmental differences toward different targets of prosocial behavior.
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The current study examined bidirectional, longitudinal links between prosocial and problem behavior. Participants (N = 500) were recruited from a Northwestern city in the United States and assessed for 3 consecutive years from 2009 to 2011 (Mage of youth at Time 1 = 13.32, SD = 1.05; 52% girls; 67% European American, 33% single-parent families). Results suggested that effects of earlier prosocial behavior toward family and strangers were predictive of fewer problem behaviors 2 years later, while results for prosocial behavior toward friends were more mixed. Results also suggested depression predicted lower prosocial behavior toward family members and anxiety predicted higher prosocial behavior toward friends. Findings show a complex pattern of relations that demonstrate the need to consider targets of helping.
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The development and maintenance of prosocial, other-oriented behaviors has been of considerable recent interest. Though it is clear that prosocial behaviors emerge early and play a uniquely important role in the social lives of humans, there is less consensus regarding the mechanisms that underlie and maintain these fundamental acts. The goal of this paper is to clarify inconsistencies in our understanding of the early emergence and development of prosocial behavior by proposing a taxonomy of prosocial behavior anchored in the social-cognitive constraints that underlie the ability to act on behalf of others. I will argue that within the general domain of prosocial behavior, other-oriented actions can be categorized into three distinct types (helping, sharing, and comforting) that reflect responses to three distinct negative states (instrumental need, unmet material desire, and emotional distress). In support of this proposal, I will demonstrate that the three varieties of prosocial behavior show unique ages of onset, uncorrelated patterns of production, and distinct patterns of individual differences. Importantly, by differentiating specific varieties of prosocial behavior within the general category, we can begin to explain inconsistencies in the past literature and provide a framework for directing future research into the ontogenetic origins of these essential social behaviors.
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Developmental scholars assert that parents are important in fostering prosocial behaviors in adolescents, but longitudinal investigations on this topic are limited. Participants consisted of 372 boys and 358 girls with a mean age of 10.84 years (SD = 1.57) at Wave 1 from a mostly middle class community in Spain. Across three successive years, participants completed measures of fathers’ and mothers’ warmth and strict control, sympathy, prosocial moral reasoning, and self- and peer-reported prosocial behaviors. Results showed that parental warmth, sympathy, and prosocial moral reasoning were predictive of prosocial behaviors. Further analyses showed bidirectional effects such that early prosocial behaviors predicted later parenting and adolescents’ prosociality. Findings lend support to cognitive-developmental and moral internalization models of prosocial development.
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In this study, adolescents' prosocial behavior toward parents was explored as an embedded aspect of parent-adolescent relationships. Gender, grade, attachment, and interdependency were examined as characteristics contributing to variation in adolescent prosocial behavior Adolescents (n = 129) in the 6th, 8th, and 10th grades; their mothers (n = 126); and their fathers (n = 104) completed questionnaires during two l-hour, in-home visits that were 1 week apart. For this study, the Adolescent Prosocial Behavior Inventory was developed, from which emerged two dimensions: affection and helpfulness. Additional analyses showed that mothers received more prosocial behavior than didfathers, and daughters acted more prosocially than did sons. Attachment had a direct and an indirect effect through interdependency on adolescent prosocial behavior From parents' viewpoints, interdependency related directly to helpfulness; whereas for sons'reports, attachment linked with helpfulness. Results supported a relationalperspective for understanding adolescents'prosocial behavior
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We examined the life-span development of self-esteem and tested whether self-esteem influences the development of important life outcomes, including relationship satisfaction, job satisfaction, occupational status, salary, positive and negative affect, depression, and physical health. Data came from the Longitudinal Study of Generations. Analyses were based on 5 assessments across a 12-year period of a sample of 1,824 individuals ages 16 to 97 years. First, growth curve analyses indicated that self-esteem increases from adolescence to middle adulthood, reaches a peak at about age 50 years, and then decreases in old age. Second, cross-lagged regression analyses indicated that self-esteem is best modeled as a cause rather than a consequence of life outcomes. Third, growth curve analyses, with self-esteem as a time-varying covariate, suggested that self-esteem has medium-sized effects on life-span trajectories of affect and depression, small to medium-sized effects on trajectories of relationship and job satisfaction, a very small effect on the trajectory of health, and no effect on the trajectory of occupational status. These findings replicated across 4 generations of participants—children, parents, grandparents, and their great-grandparents. Together, the results suggest that self-esteem has a significant prospective impact on real-world life experiences and that high and low self-esteem are not mere epiphenomena of success and failure in important life domains.
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This research provides the first support for a possible psychological universal: Human beings around the world derive emotional benefits from using their financial resources to help others (prosocial spending). In Study 1, survey data from 136 countries were examined and showed that prosocial spending is associated with greater happiness around the world, in poor and rich countries alike. To test for causality, in Studies 2a and 2b, we used experimental methodology, demonstrating that recalling a past instance of prosocial spending has a causal impact on happiness across countries that differ greatly in terms of wealth (Canada, Uganda, and India). Finally, in Study 3, participants in Canada and South Africa randomly assigned to buy items for charity reported higher levels of positive affect than participants assigned to buy the same items for themselves, even when this prosocial spending did not provide an opportunity to build or strengthen social ties. Our findings suggest that the reward experienced from helping others may be deeply ingrained in human nature, emerging in diverse cultural and economic contexts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
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conceptual and empirical perspectives on the relationship between helping and coping are presented presents empirical evidence on the nature and degree of helping by individuals presumed to be exposed to stress, including siblings of children with disabilities and elderly persons / show that contrary to stereotypes of people presumed to be under stress, many such people do help others despite their own troubles [describes] the results of two of my own emerging field studies, the results of which, when taken in combination with evidence presented in the first section, should increase the plausibility that helping serves as an effective coping mechanism (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Two studies explored the relation between self-esteem and self-enhancement biases. It was proposed that people with high self-esteem engage in forms of self-enhancement in which the self is directly linked to positive identities and outcomes, whereas people with low self-esteem engage in forms of self-enhancement in which the self is indirectly linked to positive identities and outcomes. To test the hypothesis, we examined group favoritism as a function of self-esteem and group involvement. As expected, high self-esteem subjects were most apt to display favoritism when they were directly involved in group processes, whereas low self-esteem subjects were most apt to display favoritism when they were not directly involved in group processes. Furthermore, consistent with the view that these tendencies reflect a motivated desire to enhance self-worth, these effects were less evident after subjects had received positive feedback than after they had received negative feedback. The discussion centers on the nature of high and low self-esteem and the influence of self-enhancement and self-consistency motives in social behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Objective: The present longitudinal study examined the development of self-reported prosociality (i.e., the tendency to enact prosocial behaviors) from adolescence to early adulthood and its prediction from teacher-reported effortful control (i.e., dispositional regulation) at age 13. Method: Participants were 573 (276 girls) Italian adolescents aged approximately 13 (M = 12.98, SD = 0.80) at the first assessment and 21 (M = 21.23, SD = 0.67) at the last assessment. The study used three different cohorts recruited across ten years (from 1994 to 2004) from a larger longitudinal project with a multiple-cohort design. Results: Latent growth curve modeling indicated that the overall level of prosociality declined until approximately age 17 with a subsequent slight rebound until age 21. Significant inter-individual variability in developmental trends of prosociality in males and females was observed. Youths' effortful control was related to a lesser decline of prosociality in adolescence. Conclusions: Being able to regulate one's own emotions and behaviors in early adolescence may not only affect the tendency to behave prosocially, but also counter the self-centered tendencies observed across this phase of development.
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After decades of debate, a consensus is emerging about the way self-esteem develops across the lifespan. On average, self-esteem is relatively high in childhood, drops during adolescence (particularly for girls), rises gradually throughout adulthood, and then declines sharply in old age. Despite these general age differences, individuals tend to maintain their ordering relative to one another: Individuals who have relatively high self-esteem at one point in time tend to have relatively high self-esteem years later. This type of stability (i.e., rank-order stability) is somewhat lower during childhood and old age than during adulthood, but the overall level of stability is comparable to that found for other personality characteristics. Directions for further research include (a) replication of the basic trajectory using more sophisticated longitudinal designs, (b) identification of the mediating mechanisms underlying self-esteem change, (c) the development of an integrative theoretical model of the life-course trajectory of self-esteem.
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Two studies examined individual and environmental forces that affect engagement in prosocial behavior. Self-determination theory was used to derive a model in which autonomy orientation and autonomy support predicted satisfaction of three core psychological needs, which in turn led to engagement in prosocial activities. In Study 1, college students reported their engagement in various prosocial activities, and completed measures of autonomy orientation, parental autonomy support, and general need satisfaction. In Study 2, volunteer workers completed measures of autonomy orientation, work autonomy support and need satisfaction at work. The number of volunteered hours indicated the amount of prosocial engagement. Results across the studies showed that autonomy orientation was strongly related to engagement in prosocial behavior, while autonomy support was modestly related. Need satisfaction partially mediated the effect of autonomy orientation, and fully mediated the effect of autonomy support. Interestingly, autonomy support predicted lower volunteer turnover. Implications for how prosocial behavior can be motivated are discussed.
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Although research has established that receiving expressions of gratitude increases prosocial behavior, little is known about the psychological mechanisms that mediate this effect. We propose that gratitude expressions can enhance prosocial behavior through both agentic and communal mechanisms, such that when helpers are thanked for their efforts, they experience stronger feelings of self-efficacy and social worth, which motivate them to engage in prosocial behavior. In Experiments 1 and 2, receiving a brief written expression of gratitude motivated helpers to assist both the beneficiary who expressed gratitude and a different beneficiary. These effects of gratitude expressions were mediated by perceptions of social worth and not by self-efficacy or affect. In Experiment 3, we constructively replicated these effects in a field experiment: A manager's gratitude expression increased the number of calls made by university fundraisers, which was mediated by social worth but not self-efficacy. In Experiment 4, a different measure of social worth mediated the effects of an interpersonal gratitude expression. Our results support the communal perspective rather than the agentic perspective: Gratitude expressions increase prosocial behavior by enabling individuals to feel socially valued.
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In a longitudinal study of 47 girls and 44 boys, developmental change in self-esteem (SE) was examined from early adolescence through late adolescence to early adulthood. Males tended to increase and females tended to decrease in SE over time. There was appreciable rank-order consistency in SE over time. Within each gender, the considerable individual differences in developmental trajectories were coherently related to personality characteristics independently assessed in early adolescence. Boys and girls with high SE possessed quite different personality characteristics in early adolescence; by early adulthood, although important differences remained, the personality characteristics associated with high SE were similar for the 2 sexes. Discussion focuses on the implications of our findings for the "consistency versus change" debate, the influence of gender-role socialization on SE development, and the importance of examining normative, gender-specific, and individual developmental change in SE.
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This article presents meta-analytic results of the relationship of 4 traits--self-esteem, generalized self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability (low neuroticism) with job satisfaction and job performance. With respect to job satisfaction, the estimated true score correlations were .26 for self-esteem, .45 for generalized self-efficacy, .32 for internal locus of control, and .24 for emotional stability. With respect to job performance, the correlations were .26 for self-esteem, .23 for generalized self-efficacy, .22 for internal locus of control, and .19 for emotional stability. In total, the results based on 274 correlations suggest that these traits are among the best dispositional predictors of job satisfaction and job performance. T. A. Judge, E. A. Locke. and C. C. Durham's (1997) theory of core self-evaluations is used as a framework for discussing similarities between the 4 traits and their relationships to satisfaction and performance.
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This study provides a comprehensive picture of age differences in self-esteem from age 9 to 90 years using cross-sectional data collected from 326,641 individuals over the Internet. Self-esteem levels were high in childhood, dropped during adolescence, rose gradually throughout adulthood, and declined sharply in old age. This trajectory generally held across gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and nationality (U.S. citizens vs. non-U.S. citizens). Overall, these findings support previous research, help clarify inconsistencies in the literature, and document new trends that require further investigation.
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Because motivations for prosocial actions typically are unclear, sometimes even to actors but especially for observers, it is difficult to study prosocial motivation. This article reviews research that provides evidence regarding children's motives for prosocial behaviors. First, we present a heuristic model to classify motives on the dimension of reflecting altruistic (with the ultimate goal of benefiting another) to egoism (the ultimate goal of benefiting the self) goals; in addition, we briefly discuss classifying motives based on a continuum of morality. Next, we review findings indicating the existence of a number of different motives in our model and briefly discuss developmental issues, when possible. Future directions for the study of prosocial motivation are proposed. © 2016 The Authors. Child Development
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This study investigated developmental trajectories for prosocial behavior for a sample followed from the age of 10–18 and examined possible adjustment outcomes associated with membership in different trajectory groups. Participants were 136 boys and 148 girls, their teachers, and their parents (19.4 percent African-American, 2.4 percent Asian, 51.9 percent Caucasian, 19.5 percent Hispanic, and 5.8 percent other). Teachers rated children's prosocial behavior yearly in grades 4–12. At the end of the 12th grade year, teachers, parents, and participants reported externalizing behaviors and participants reported internalizing symptoms, narcissism, and features of borderline personality disorder. Results suggested that prosocial behavior remained stable from middle childhood through late adolescence. Group-based mixture modeling revealed three prosocial trajectory groups: low (18.7 percent), medium (52.8 percent), and high (29.6 percent). Membership in the high prosocial trajectory group predicted lower levels of externalizing behavior as compared with the low prosocial trajectory group, and for girls, lower levels of internalizing symptoms. Membership in the medium prosocial trajectory group also predicted being lower on externalizing behaviors. Membership in the high prosocial trajectory group predicted lower levels of borderline personality features for girls only.
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The current study examined bidirectional relations between adolescents' moral personality (prosocial values, self-regulation, and sympathy) and low- and high-cost prosocial behavior toward strangers. Participants included 682 adolescents (M age of child = 14.31, SD = 1.07, 50% female) who participated at two time points, approximately one year apart. Cross-lag analyses suggested that adolescents' values were associated with both low- and high-cost prosocial behavior one year later, self-regulation was associated with high-cost prosocial behavior, and sympathy was associated with low-cost prosocial behavior. Findings also suggested that low-cost prosocial behavior was associated with sympathy one year later, and high-cost prosocial behavior was associated with values. Discussion focuses on reciprocal relations between moral personality and prosocial behavior, and the need to consider a more multidimensional approach to prosocial development during adolescence.
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Mexican American youth often engage in relatively high levels of prosocial behaviors. We theorize that this may be due to a cultural value system that encourages familism values, which, in turn, may foster the development of sociocognitive processes that promote prosocial behaviors. Two hundred and five Mexican American early adolescent youth (Mage = 10.9 years, SD = 0.84; 51% girls) reported their familism values, perspective taking, prosocial moral reasoning, and six types of prosocial behaviors. The results indicated that perspective taking partially mediated the relation between familism values and the specific prosocial tendencies theoretically linked to the Mexican American culture. The study demonstrated the utility of integrating cultural and traditional developmental mechanisms in attempting to explain prosocial behaviors.
Article
We investigated relations between prosocial behavior, perceived social support, and improvement in depression and anxiety symptoms over 6 months among 102 Acholi adolescent (14–17 years, 58% female adolescents) survivors of war and displacement in Northern Uganda. Adolescents were assessed using a locally developed screener. Regression analyses measured the association between resilience factors and mental health outcomes. Findings indicated that high levels of baseline prosocial behaviors were associated with improvement in anxiety symptoms among adolescents with high symptom improvement. This same trend was seen for depression symptoms (p = .06). Experiencing caregiver loss modified this association for depression symptoms. Baseline social support was not associated with improvement in depression or anxiety. Results suggest that prosocial behavior is associated with increased resilience.
Article
The present study examined the longitudinal relations between prosociality and self-esteem. Participants were 386 (50.3% males) middle adolescents (Mage = 15.6) assessed over a 10-year period until they entered into young adulthood (Mage = 25.7). First, multivariate latent curve analysis indicated that the developmental increase of prosociality was positively related to the parallel increase of self-esteem. Second, an autoregressive cross-lagged model revealed that the direct effect of prosociality on self-esteem was statistically significant but essentially negligible. These findings corroborated from a long-term longitudinal perspective previous studies highlighting the positive correlation between the development of prosociality and self-esteem, and pointed out to the need for further investigating the relation between the two constructs. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.
Article
This study examined longitudinal change in adolescents' prosocial behavior toward family, friends, and strangers. Participants included 491 mother–child dyads (average age of child at Time 1 = 11.5, 67% European American). Growth mixture modeling suggested that prosocial behavior toward family was generally stable or decreased over time, while prosocial behavior toward friends increased over time. However, findings highlighted unique developmental trajectories within subgroups of adolescents for prosocial behavior toward family and friends and found that maternal warmth and adolescent sympathy, self-regulation, and gender consistently distinguished between groups. Discussion focuses on the need for a more multidimensional approach to prosocial development.
Article
Fourth, sixth, and eighth graders were paired either with a close friend or with a classmate whom they neither strongly liked nor strongly disliked. The pairs of children were observed as they did two tasks that provided them with opportunities for generous or helpful behavior toward each other. On one task, children distributed rewards to themselves and to their partner. On the second task, children were allowed to help their partner get rewards when the partner had been placed at a disadvantage. The results showed an increase with age in the differences between friends' and classmates' behavior. Eighth graders were more generous and more helpful toward friends than toward other classmates, but sixth and fourth graders treated friends and classmates similarly. After doing the tasks, eighth graders also reported that they thought their friends less often competed with them and more often tried for equality in rewards than other classmates. Attributions about the partner's motives were similar for friends and classmates at sixth and fourth grade. The age differences in behavior and motives are compared with current theories of the development of friendship.
Article
Three studies of everyday helping behavior are described. Study I reveals that most everyday helping occurs between friends, family members, and other familiar individuals; providing assistance to strangers is less common. Furthermore, much of the help given to familiar others is planned, whereas help given to strangers is almost always spontaneous. Study 2 describes the construction of an instrument to measure self-reports of helping. A multidimensional scaling analysis reveals three regions of helping: planned formal, planned informal, and spontaneous. Study 3 finds that characteristics of individuals, in general, are related more strongly to planned forms of helping than to spontaneous forms of helping. Social network variables also are found to be better predictors of self-reported helping behavior than are traditional personality variables.
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• Why are people in close relationships motivated to go beyond their own self-interest and act in a manner that benefits their partner? Some theorists would point to person factors in answering this question, specifying various personality dimensions as particularly relevant (see chaps. 3,4, 7, and 19, this volume). Others would take a social cognitive approach, emphasizing the manner in which relationship cognitions guide prosocial activity (see chaps. 1, 10, and 18, this volume). In this chapter, we advance a different approach. We review findings from a long-standing program of research on prosocial behavior in close relationships from an interdependence perspective. We make three main points. First, we suggest that the structure of interdependence between persons should be an important concern for social and behavioral scientists interested in understanding prosocial motivation and behavior. Second, we suggest that behaving to the benefit of one's partner in such situations rests on key structural features of relationships. Third, we propose that in interdependent relationships, each person's actions have implications for the partner. In short, we are going to suggest that psychology, particularly social psychology, should be more truly social in character when attempting to understand prosocial motives and behavior in interpersonal contexts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved) • Why are people in close relationships motivated to go beyond their own self-interest and act in a manner that benefits their partner? Some theorists would point to person factors in answering this question, specifying various personality dimensions as particularly relevant (see chaps. 3,4, 7, and 19, this volume). Others would take a social cognitive approach, emphasizing the manner in which relationship cognitions guide prosocial activity (see chaps. 1, 10, and 18, this volume). In this chapter, we advance a different approach. We review findings from a long-standing program of research on prosocial behavior in close relationships from an interdependence perspective. We make three main points. First, we suggest that the structure of interdependence between persons should be an important concern for social and behavioral scientists interested in understanding prosocial motivation and behavior. Second, we suggest that behaving to the benefit of one's partner in such situations rests on key structural features of relationships. Third, we propose that in interdependent relationships, each person's actions have implications for the partner. In short, we are going to suggest that psychology, particularly social psychology, should be more truly social in character when attempting to understand prosocial motives and behavior in interpersonal contexts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Ninety adolescents and young adults (evenly divided by gender) were interviewed regarding their evaluations of helping and making a sacrifice to help in both distant and close relationships. Adolescents and young adults judged that it is important to help, satisfying to help, and wrong not to help, particularly when the recipients are in close relationships. With increasing age, helping behavior was viewed less as an obligation and more as a matter of personal choice with distant relationships. Female participants judged it more important to help, overall, than did male participants, but there were no gender differences for how satisfying it would be to help or whether it would be wrong not to help. Helping others and making sacrifices of personal goals to help others are valued in adolescence.
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Summarizes several studies on self-esteem between 13 and 23 yrs of age, as well as results from the Monitoring the Future project (MFP) to show that global self-esteem, as measured by scales like the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, increases over that age span. The MFP consists of annual questionnaire surveys of 15,000–29,000 high school seniors and some follow-up questionnaires after graduation. Using MFP data from the classes of 1976 through 1979, results support an increase in self-esteem with age. In spite of the considerable increase in mean levels, there is also considerable stability of self-esteem. Using both single- and multiple-indicator models with correlated errors, the stabilities of self-esteem are shown to be fairly high. Annual stabilities are estimated to be between .6 and .9, depending on the model and on the definition of stability. (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This study assessed features of young children's friendships and determined whether the features reported were associated with prosocial and aggressive behavior. Teachers completed the friendship features questionnaires (FFQ) on the mutual friendships in their class identified by the 98 children who were interviewed (M age =3.91 years). Four subscales (support, conflict, exclusivity/intimacy, and asymmetry) were differentiated from the 36-item questionnaire. Teacher reports of friendship features showed moderate inter-rater reliability and were associated with teacher reports of aggression and prosocial behavior and peer reports of acceptance and rejection. Friendship support was positively correlated with prosocial behavior, friendship conflict was positively correlated with overt aggression and peer rejection, and friendship exclusivity/intimacy was positively associated with relational aggression and negatively with peer acceptance. Findings are consistent with research on school age children's friendship features and their behavioral correlates.
Chapter
In this chapter, we review research and some current theory on the development of prosocial responding (including prosocial behavior and empathy-related responding) and possible antecedents/causes, outcomes, and correlates. In the initial section of this chapter, we briefly present a general framework for integrating factors that contribute to prosocial responding. Then the empirical literature related to the development of prosocial behavior, with an emphasis on the emerging literature on early development and development during adolescence, is reviewed. Next we review literature on the potential origins of prosocial responding, including potential biological, cultural, familial, and peer/school factors. Then we address sociocognitive correlates of prosocial responding and the relations of temperamental/personality and social-behavioral individual differences (e.g., aggression) to prosocial behavior and/or empathy-related responding. Due to space constraints, we focus more on current rather than older publications and disproportionately on topics of central importance to prosocial development and issues that have been foci of interest in the past decade. In the final sections of the chapter, gaps in the field and future directions are discussed.