Anti-social behavior is the knowing or unknowing disregard for others, which leads to intent to damage lives or negligence. Persistently, this behavior leads to anti-social Personality Disorder. Pro-social behavior is the antonym for anti-social behavior. It refers to a comforting regard for other peoples’ welfare and consequently society. People with pro-social behavior volunteer more and are generous contributors to good causes.
Factors Influencing Pro-Social/Anti-Social Behavior
Media plays a critical role in developing social voluntary giving. Studies show that children, who watched children related channels and programs at an early age of less than five, develop a giving habit. They also volunteer more than kids who watch mainstream media.
Therefore, it is clear that TV content, which promotes violence and social misdeeds, fosters anti-social behavior. Internet is the newest source of all information. Social media is a mixture of people with different intentions. A child may get exposure to unwanted material easily. This is the same case with all other internet content. Too much focus on violence, killing and inhumane acts in blockbuster films is another factor that leads to anti-social behavior. All these are harmful to a child’s young mind (Helliwell and Putnam, 2004).
Family and Social Life
This is another critical area of interest. The role of individual members of the family and the birth-position are also critical factors. Firstborns are generally responsible for others compared to lastborns. However, lastborns from a family with a volunteer habit tend to copy and follow the same route. Social life, on the other hand, defines educational life from the onset. Psychologists argue that children who grow up in a generally philanthropic environment tend to volunteer as adults. This environment is only possible where children invite each other for birthdays, sleepovers and other social gatherings (Valsiner, 2007).
Genetic factors can also influence social behavior. A person may be born with such tendencies. Secondly, environmental stressors may reduce a person’s regard for others and resort to bad behavior. For example, extreme poverty promotes selfishness. The child grows up knowing that he has too little to share. An upbringing with affluence, which suddenly changes confuses a child and could lead to anti-social behavior. A need to feel acceptable after a life of unacceptability in family is another factor (Helliwell and Putnam, 2004).
Findings and Suggestions
Social media is a big contributor to behavior. Some people have an anti-social inclination, which is natural. However, this behavior grows. Therefore, media should lay a huge emphasis on ensuring that content does not advocate for or foster anti-social behavior. Governments should formulate policies geared towards making media responsible.
For example, filtration of certain content at times. The upbringing of a child should entail more than just parental passiveness. Involvement of both parents is a plus in this quest. Children who grow up with both parents exhibit more social behavior than those growing up in single parent families. It is important for the child’s social maturity that both parents are present during childhood. (Valsiner, 2007).
Helliwell, J.F & Putnam, R.D. (2004). The Social Context of Well-Being. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society London B Biological Sciences, 1(359): 1435-46.
Valsiner, J. (2007). Personal Culture and Conduct of Value. Journal of Social, Evolutionary & Cultural Psychology, 1(2): 59–65.