Self-control mediates the associations between parental attachment and prosocial behavior among Chinese adolescents.


Previous work has revealed that secure parental attachment promotes prosocial behaviors, but its underlying mechanism is less commonly explored. Drawing upon Bowlby’s attachment theory, the current study examined the role of self-control in the link between parental attachment and prosocial behaviors. Six hundred and seven Chinese adolescents participated in the study completing measures that assessed parental attachment, self-control, and prosocial behaviors. Results showed that secure maternal attachment, rather than paternal attachment, was directly related to more prosocial behaviors in total sample and girls. Importantly, self-control mediated the links between both maternal and paternal attachment and prosocial behaviors across sex. In conclusion, self-control partly addresses how individuals who report being securely attached to parents engage in more prosocial behaviors.