The Impact of Social Capital, Self-Efficacy, and Resilience on the Prosocial Involvement of Adolescents from Families with and without Economic Disadvantages

  • Ying LiuEmail author
  • Sek-yum Ngai


This study examined the effects of social capital, self-efficacy, and resilience on youth prosocial involvement. The investigation was based on a comparative sample of senior middle-school students, including 571 from families with economic disadvantages as the poor group and 1047 without these disadvantages as the non-poor group. The results from the multiple-group structural equation modeling suggest that among family, school, peer, and community social capital, only school social capital has a significant direct effect on prosocial involvement. In addition, community social capital could only indirectly affect prosocial involvement for the poor group, and family social capital could only indirectly affect prosocial involvement for the non-poor group, through self-efficacy and resilience. Compared with self-efficacy, resilience was found to be a more effective mediator between social capital variables and adolescent prosocial involvement. Most of the paths are similar for the poor and the non-poor groups; however, family social capital shows a stronger effect for the poor group, and school social capital has a stronger effect for the non-poor group. These findings have critical implications for theory, practice, and future research.


Poverty Resiliency Prosocial involvement Structural equation modeling Adolescent 



The first author disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: The Foundation for Young Talents in Higher Education of Guangdong (Grant No. 2016WQNCX122). The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the funding agency, the local government for providing access to school, and participating schools and students.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, School of Public AdministrationGuangzhou UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Social WorkUnited College, The Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

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