Do Self Esteem and Family Relations Predict Prosocial Behaviour and Social Adjustment of Fresh Students?

O. A. Afolabi


Most of the studies about prosocial behaviour and adolescent adjustment focus on some personality factors or peer group influence as separate sources of influence and do not take into account some important variables like self esteem and family relations. The aim of this paper is therefore to analyse the relationship between self esteem and family relations of a sample of Nigerian undergraduates as indicated by their prosocial behaviour and social adjustment. To achieve this, 294 fresh students who have spent at least 30 weeks in the university were randomly selected (using cross-sectional sampling method) from both Ambrose Alli and Adekunle Ajasin universities in Nigeria. Out of these were 161 (54.8%) males while 133 (45.2%) were females. Two hypotheses were stated and tested. Results revealed that self esteem and family relations independently predicted prosocial behaviour. Their joint prediction of prosocial behaviour was also significant [R2= .279, t = 9.07; p < .01]. Analysis of the second hypothesis also revealed that self-esteem independently predicted social adjustment but family relations did not predict social adjustment significantly. However, self-esteem and family relation jointly predicted social adjustment [R2= .384, t = 7.972; p < .01]. It was recommended that efforts to boost the new students’ self-esteem should not be spared and the relationship between family members should be cordial so as improve the level of prosocial behavior and social adjustment of individuals.


Prosocial behavior; Family relations; Self-esteem; Social adjustment; Students

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