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Prosocial Behavior and Subjective Well-Being in School among Elementary School Students: the Mediating Roles of the Satisfaction of Relatedness Needs at School and Self-Esteem

Abstract

We examined the multiple mediating effects of the satisfaction of relatedness needs at school and self-esteem in the relation between prosocial behavior and subjective well-being (SWB) in school among elementary school students employing a four-wave longitudinal design with six-month time intervals. At the baseline assessment, 1058 Chinese elementary school students (575 males; Mage = 9.44) completed a multi-measure questionnaire. A total of 776 students participated in the study on all four occasions. Results of structural equation modeling showed that: (a) Prosocial behavior at Time 1 positively predicted SWB in school at Time 4. (b) The satisfaction of relatedness needs at school at Time 2 mediated the path from prosocial behavior at Time 1 to SWB in school at Time 4; the mediating effect of self-esteem at Time 3 between prosocial behavior at Time 1 and SWB in school at Time 4 was not significant. (c) Prosocial behavior at Time 1 showed indirect effects on SWB in school at Time 4 successively via the satisfaction of relatedness needs at school at Time 2 and self-esteem at Time 3. Limitations of the study and implication of the results were discussed.

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Notes

  1. The information about quality of students, school size, class size and the quality of students was provided by the local educational department. The quality of students was assessed according to the students’ academic achievement and family socioeconomic status.

  2. School size was assessed by the number of students in school.

  3. Class size was assessed by the number of students in class.

  4. Teachers’ teaching ability was generally assessed by their educational levels and their years of experience in teaching.

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Funding

This work was supported by Humanities Social Sciences Research Planning Foundation from Ministry of Education, 2015 (No. 15YJA190003), and “13th Five-Year” Plan of Philosophy and Social Science Development in Guangzhou, 2018 (No. 2018GZGJ22).

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Liu, W., Su, T., Tian, L. et al. Prosocial Behavior and Subjective Well-Being in School among Elementary School Students: the Mediating Roles of the Satisfaction of Relatedness Needs at School and Self-Esteem. Applied Research Quality Life 16, 1439–1459 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-020-09826-1

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Keywords

  • Prosocial behavior
  • Subjective well-being in school
  • Satisfaction of relatedness needs at school
  • Self-esteem
  • Elementary school students