The Relation of Pro-Sociality to Self-Esteem: The Mediational Role of Quality of Friendships

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The Relation of Pro-Sociality to Self-Esteem: The Mediational Role of Quality of Friendships

Authors: Antonio Zuffianò, Nancy Elsenberg, Guido Alessandri, Paula Luengo, Concetta Pastorelli, Michela Milloni, Gian Vittorio Caprara

Abstract

The present longitudinal study examined the role of quality of friendship in mediating the relation of pro-sociality to self-esteem over time. Participants were 424 Italian young adults (56% females) assessed at two waves (Mage = 21.1 at Time 1;Mage = 25 at Time 2). An autoregressive cross-lagged panel model was used to test the mediational model. Self- and friend-report measures of pro-sociality, quality of friendship, and self-esteem were included in the analyses. Results were in line with the hypothesized paths, with quality of friendship mediating the relation of pro-sociality to later self-esteem above and beyond its high stability. Self-esteem, in turn, predicted pro-sociality 4 years later.Overall, the present findings support the potential benefits of behaving pro-socially for an actor in terms of increased perceived self-worth and also expand previous work by outlining the specific mediational role of the quality of friendships.The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.