Life transitions are an inevitable part of human existence. While often exciting, life transitions can be stressful as they involve shifts in identity, routine and expectations. Informed by past research demonstrating the benefits of engaging in prosocial behaviour, I examined whether prosociality could support well-being during life transitions at university using a pre-registered 6-week diary study conducted with new students (N = 193) during their first semester of university. I hypothesized that (i) students would engage in prosocial acts, and (ii) engaging in prosocial behaviour would predict greater well-being. As predicted, an MLM analysis revealed that participants engaged in prosocial acts each week and reported higher levels of well-being during weeks in which they participated in more prosocial acts. This research extends our understanding of the robust relationship between prosociality and well-being and could spur greater insight into how to support individuals who are engaging in other life transitions.
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Thesis advisor: Aknin, Lara
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