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Associations Between Acceptance-Rejection and Adolescents’ Prosocial Behavior in Japan: The Mediating Role of Sense of Authenticity
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal  (IF1.862),  Pub Date : 2021-06-27, DOI: 10.1007/s10560-021-00779-4
Rumana Aktar, Yuko Sugiura, Kenji Hiraishi

Promoting prosocial behavior among adolescents protects them against problematic outcomes and ensures their positive development. This study aimed to examine (1) the association between adolescents’ representation of acceptance-rejection from multiple attachment figures (father, mother, best friend, and teacher) and prosocial behavior toward multiple targets (stranger, friends, and family) and (2) the mediating role of sense of authenticity in these relationships. The sample comprised 784 adolescents (56% boys), aged 12–15 years (M = 13.98 years, SD = .83). Data were collected online by a research company using six self-report measures. The structural equation model suggested that paternal acceptance-rejection was significantly directly associated with prosocial acts toward three targets and maternal acceptance-rejection was indirectly associated with prosocial acts toward a stranger. Moreover, best friend and teacher acceptance-rejection was related to prosocial acts toward family and friends, and friends respectively. Sense of authenticity mediated the association between maternal and best friend acceptance-rejection and prosocial behavior toward strangers. The findings reveal that the benefits of providing acceptance or love in a relationship are reciprocal and offer personal benefits and increased welfare of others.