Dimensions of altruism behaviors among Americans in the general social survey


Altruism as a value and behavior describes actions that express selfless concern for others, empathy, and a consideration for the need of others. Altruism behaviors may be considered as primal in the evolution of approaches to social welfare. At a time of heightened disparities in meeting welfare needs, there is a call for individuals to lift up the other for the collective good, charity beginning with one. Using data from the General Social Survey, this study conducted a Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) to examine the factorial structure of altruism behaviors guided by the empathy theory of altruism. Results from the analysis highlight the distribution and frequency of altruism behaviors in the sample. In addition, two primary dimensions of altruism –personally-directed and institutionally-channeled derived from the analysis. Findings from this analysis provide significant pointers for education, group processes and empowering individuals, and communities to extend the agency of human behavior in the social environment to address barriers to economic and social wellbeing.


Social Work

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Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment


Taylor & Francis

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