Altruism born of suffering and prosocial behavior following adverse life events: A review and conceptualization
This paper introduces the concept of "altruism born of suffering," and provides a review and integration of relevant research and theories from various disciplines. In contrast to the well-supported notion that prosocial behavior is rooted in positive experiences, whereas violence and adversity often contribute to further violence and antisocial behavior, it is proposed that suffering may actually enhance the motivation to help other disadvantaged members of society, including outgroups. A motivational process model is presented that includes a typology of altruism born of suffering, integrates clinical and social psychological perspectives on underlying processes, and proposes potential mediators and moderators. Relevant empirical studies are reviewed that provide initial support for this model. A particular emphasis is placed on victims of group-based violence, and implications for intergroup relations and social justice. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009.
Social Justice Research
altruism, collective violence, intergroup relations, prosocial behavior, suffering
Vollhardt, Johanna Ray, "Altruism born of suffering and prosocial behavior following adverse life events: A review and conceptualization" (2009). Psychology. 675.