Predictors of prosocial behavior during the COVID-19 national lockdown in Italy: Testing the role of psychological sense of community and other community assets


There is growing support for viewing communities as a multilevel construct in which the interdependence between individuals and community systems contributes to the promotion of individual responsibilities in thinking and enacting changes to respond to people’s and community’s needs. However, there is currently scant evidence regarding the influence of psychological sense of community and the role of community assets on prosocial behavior during the COVID-19 national lockdown. The main aim of the current study was to test a conceptual model of community assets as predictors of prosocial behavior during Italy’s COVID-19 national lockdown. A sample of 3,964 Italian adults was involved in the current study. We collected data using an online questionnaire, between April 12 and May 21, 2020, during the nationwide lockdown restrictions. To collect data, we employed convenience and virtual snowball sampling strategies (i.e., email, social networks, and online channels). Using structural equation modeling, we found that prosocial behavior was predicted by sense of community responsibility but not by sense of community. Moreover, sense of community and sense of community responsibility were predicted by community members’ perception of its assets, in particular collective resilience and adequate information. Finally, trust in the institutional response to the pandemic predicted community members’ perception of collective resilience and receiving adequate information through the community. The present study suggests that community qualities, positively perceived by community members, are crucial in promoting prosocial behaviors and producing collective goods during a pandemic.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v7i2p22

Keywords: Prosocial Behavior, Sense of Community Responsibility, COVID-19, Pandemic, Sense of Community, Resilience


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