Childhood maltreatment and prosocial behavior: Roles of social support and psychological capital

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Ying Yang
Zhenning Yang
Weiguo Qu
Cite this article:  Yang, Y., Yang, Z., & Qu, W. (2022). Childhood maltreatment and prosocial behavior: Roles of social support and psychological capital. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 50(1), e10610.


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We examined the relationship between childhood maltreatment and prosocial behavior, with social support and psychological capital incorporated as hypothesized mediators. Participants were 581 adolescent students (360 girls, 221 boys) who completed questionnaires regarding prosocial behavior, childhood maltreatment, social support, and psychological capital. The results reveal that childhood maltreatment was negatively associated with prosocial behavior through the sequential mediators of social support and psychological capital. These findings indicate that childhood maltreatment directly reduced the occurrence of prosocial behavior in adolescence. There was also an indirect effect, whereby childhood maltreatment reduced social support and psychological capital, and this, in turn, reduced adolescents’ prosocial behavior. This study provides a theoretical basis and practical guidance for the cultivation of adolescents’ prosocial behavior.

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