Facing guilt: Role of negative affectivity, need for reparation, and fear of punishment in leading to prosocial behaviour and aggression



The present study aims to further corroborate and to extend the scope of previous findings regarding the path of influence between negative affectivity, need for reparation and fear of punishment when examining the determinants and the motivational components of guilt. Data were collected from three different European countries (i.e. Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Republic). About 1100 young adolescents were involved in the research. The generalizability of a nomological network linking individual differences in Negative Affectivity to Need for Reparation, Fear of Punishment, Prosocial Behaviour, and Aggression has been investigated across countries and gender, by means of structural equation modelling. Need for Reparation turns out to be positively related to Prosocial Behaviour and negatively related to Aggression. Fear for Punishment turns out to be positively related to Aggression and negatively related to Prosocial Behaviour, with the exception of Hungary. Alternative paths of influence among considered variables have been examined. Practical implications for prevention and education are underlined. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.