Altruistic behavior has been conceptualized from a variety of perspectives. One approach to understanding altruism involves understanding the contextual factors that influence it. Parenting style is a source of early learning that greatly influences a child’s social functioning. The flexible connectedness offers three potential mechanisms by which parenting may influence altruism: perspective taking, empathic concern, and psychological flexibility. The current study examined perceived parenting style as a predictor of altruism and the flexible connectedness factors as potential mediators of this relationship. In the context of decision-making tasks involving monetary allocations (i.e., dictator and reciprocity tasks), authoritarian parenting predicted increases in altruism, and permissive parenting predicted decreases in altruism. In the context of a volunteer form, parental care predicted decreases in altruism. Parenting style was consistently associated with only psychological flexibility of the flexible connectedness factors, such that parental care was associated with increased flexibility and parental overprotection was associated with decreased flexibility. None of the flexible connected factors predicted altruism alone, but psychological flexibility moderated the relationship between empathic concern and altruism on the reciprocity task such that increases in psychological flexibility were associated with a stronger negative relationship between empathic concern and altruism. The current study’s results suggest that inflexible parenting (i.e., authoritarian parenting and permissive) may influence how we treat others in unexpected ways, sometimes benefiting society at a cost to the individual.
|Commitee:||Lin, Hung-Chu, McDermott, Michael|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Developmental psychology, Psychology, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Altruism, Empathic concern, Parenting, Perspective taking, Prosocial behavior, Psychological flexibility|
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