Egoistic versus altruistic concerns in communal relationships

Lora E. Park, Jordan D. Troisi, Jon K. Maner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Although communal relationships are seemingly characterized by altruistic concern for others, individuals may differ in their degree of egoistic versus altruistic concerns in communal relationships. In the present research, we developed a measure to assess egoistic versus altruistic concerns underlying a communal relationship orientation. These concerns were empirically distinct and predicted personal and interpersonal functioning. In Study 1, altruistic concerns predicted increased relatedness, empathy, and decreased anger, hostility, and aggression, whereas egoistic concerns predicted decreased relatedness, empathy, and increased anger, hostility, and aggression. In Study 2, altruistic concerns predicted more other-oriented (e.g., community) goals; egoistic concerns predicted more self-oriented (e.g., image) goals and depressive symptoms. Together, these findings highlight the importance of examining distinct concerns underlying a communal relationship orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-335
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • altruistic
  • communal orientation
  • communal relationship
  • egoistic
  • motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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