Adolescents’ conceptualisations of kindness and its links with well-being: a focus group study

Cotney, Jessica Louise and Banerjee, Robin (2017) Adolescents’ conceptualisations of kindness and its links with well-being: a focus group study. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. ISSN 0265-4075 (Accepted)

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Abstract

There has been a recent surge of interest from researchers, policymakers, and the general public in how kindness can promote well-being. Even though adolescence is a key period for the development of relevant value systems and mental health, little is known about adolescents’ understanding of kindness. Six focus groups were conducted with 11- to 15-year-olds, exploring their conceptualisations of kindness. Thematic analysis revealed a multifaceted understanding, identifying ten different categories of kind behaviour that are influenced by situational antecedents as well as specific self- and other-focused goals. Crucially, participants also identified a number of moderators, including contextual and dispositional factors (e.g., features of social relationships, levels of empathy) that support and extend current theoretical frameworks. Responses from participants reinforced the idea that kindness contributes to well-being for the recipient and the giver. These findings have implications for the future design and efficacy of kindness-based well-being interventions for adolescents.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Adolescence, Kindness, Prosocial behaviour, Qualitative, Well-being
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Ellena Adams
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2017 11:17
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2017 15:59
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/70437

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