Engaging in prosocial behavior explains how high self-control relates to more life satisfaction: Evidence from three Chinese samples

Autoři: Kai Dou aff001;  Jian-Bin Li aff002;  Yu-Jie Wang aff003;  Jing-Jing Li aff001;  Zi-Qin Liang aff001;  Yan-Gang Nie aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Psychology and Research Center of Adolescent Psychology and Behavior, School of Education, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, P. R. China aff001;  Department of Early Childhood Education, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China aff002;  Mental Health Education and Counseling Center, Guangdong Industry Polytechnic, Guangzhou, P. R. China aff003;  Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, P. R. China aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223169


High levels of self-control are found to be associated with greater life satisfaction. To further understand this relationship, the current study examined two questions: (1) whether too much self-control reduces, rather than increases, life satisfaction, as argued by some scholars; and (2) whether engaging in prosocial behavior explains the “self-control–life satisfaction” link. To this end, we conducted survey research among adolescents (N = 1,009), university students (N = 2,620), and adult workers (N = 500). All participants answered the same self-control and life satisfaction measures, whereas prosocial behavior was assessed using different scales across samples. Results of two-line regressions failed to reveal significant inverted-U shaped association between self-control and life satisfaction across samples. Moreover, results of mediation analyses showed that across samples, high levels of self-control were related to greater life satisfaction and this association was partly mediated by prosocial behavior. In conclusion, there is no evidence showing that too much self-control impairs life satisfaction. Engaging in prosocial behavior partly explains how high self-control relates to greater well-being.

Klíčová slova:

Adolescents – Altruistic behavior – Behavior – Behavioral and social aspects of health – Emotions – Employment – Prosocial behavior – Schools


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