Conceptions of success: Their correlates with prosocial orientation and behaviour in Chinese adolescents

Ping Chung Cheung, Hing Keung Ma, Tan Lei Shek

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Data from a sample of 673 Chinese adolescents lent support to the hypothesis that conceptions of success or achievement goals affect both the inclination to and the actual performance of prosocial acts. With regard to attitude, it was found that: (a) task orientation (belief that success is gaining skill or understanding) and collaboration orientation (belief that success is working productively with one or more collaborators) increases with the inclination to help others, to co-operate and share things with others, to maintain an affective relationship with others, and to behave in compliance with social norms; and (b) ego orientation (belief that success is establishing one's competence as superior) was not generally associated with the inclination to perform prosocial acts. With regard to action, it was found that task orientation and collaboration orientation, but not ego orientation, increased with the number of normative and altruistic acts in the past year. The similarity between the belief-attitude correlation and the belief-action correlation indicates the robustness of the influence of conceptions of success. Also, sex differences and grade differences in the relationship between conceptions of success and prosocial and antisocial behaviours were found. Implications of the findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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