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.
- communal orientation
- communal relationship
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science