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Relationship between Emotion, Individualism-Collectivism Cultural Disposition and Prosocial Behavior among Adolescents

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2012, 25(2), pp.85-106
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science

박서영 1 PARKSEONGYEON 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The primary goal of this study was to examine the relations between adolescents' sympathy-distress emotion and prosocial behaviors on the adolescents’ cultural dispositions toward individualism and collectivism. The participants of the study were 699 adolescents(mean age= 16.7; 357 males, 312 females) from high schools in Seoul. Data were collected through self-report questionnaires. The major results of the study were as follow: First, adolescent's sex and distress emotion were significant variables in predicting adolescents' prosocial behaviors toward familiar persons, whereas cultural dispositions and distress emotion were significantly related to adolescents' prosocial behaviors toward strangers. A moderating effect of self-focused distress in the links between adolescents' cultural disposition and prosocial behavior was also found. Specifically, when adolescents' self-focused distress is low, Collectivism-oriented adolescents showed more prosocial behavior toward strangers than did Individualism-oriented adolescents. Second, Adolescents' emotion acted as a mediator between adolescents' cultural disposition and prosocial behaviors. That is, adolescents' cultural disposition directly and indirectly influenced (through experienced emotions) their prosocial behavior toward both familiar persons and strangers. This study underscores the importance of adolescents' sympathy-distress emotion and Individualism-collectivism cultural disposition in predicting adolescents' prosocial behaviors.

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