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J Pers. 2009 Aug;77(4):1229-59. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2009.00580.x. Epub 2009 May 19.

Reciprocal relations among self-efficacy beliefs and prosociality across time.

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  • 1Psychology Department, Sapienza, University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy.


The present study examined the longitudinal relations between individuals' prosociality and their self-efficacy beliefs in regard to emotional regulation and responding empathically to others' needs. The participants were 244 females and 222 males with a mean age of 17 years (SD=1.5) at T1, 19 years (SD=1.4) at T2, and 21 years (SD=1.6) at T3. The findings corroborated the posited paths of relations assigning empathic self-efficacy a major role in predicting the level of individuals' prosociality. Empathic self-efficacy beliefs mediated the relations of regulative emotional self-efficacy beliefs to prosocial tendencies such as caring, sharing, helping, and empathic concern toward others. The posited conceptual model accounted for a significant portion of variance in prosociality and has implications for interventions designed to promote and sustain prosociality.

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