AUTHOR : 권지웅, 박종효
INFORMATION : page. 1~21 / 2020 Vol.27 No.3
The purpose of this study is to investigate the mediating effect of pro-social traits in the relationship between empathy and defending behavior; and to examine if this mediating effect is moderated through peer status; and whether it varies depending on gender. The fourth wave of Class-Net data was used to target a total of 1,208 elementary school students. Empathy was measured by self-reports, and pro-social traits, peer status (preference, popularity) and defending behavior were measured by peer nomination. The mediating effects of pro-social traits, the moderating effects of peer status, and the difference in the moderating effect by gender were analyzed using SPSS-macro. The results were as follows: first, there were gender differences in empathy, pro-social traits, peer status and defending behavior. Second, pro-social traits fully mediated the relationship between empathy and defending behavior. Third, the mediating effect of pro-social traits in the relationship between empathy and defending behavior was regulated by peer status. This means that students with high levels of empathy and pro-social traits show higher rates of defensive behavior than those with lower levels of empathy and pro-social traits. Fourth, there was a gender gap in the mediating effects of peer status. For female students, a higher peer status had a greater impact on empathy, leading to pro-social traits and defending behavior. The results of this study imply that considering gender differences will be helpful when implementing character-building education to enhance pro-social traits so as to prevent peer bullying at schools.