Topic Editors

School of Psychology, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China
College of Psychology, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, China
Dr. Liyang Sai
Department of Psychology, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 311121, China

Risk and Protective Factors in Social Interactions: Behavioral and Neural Evidence

Abstract submission deadline
31 May 2025
Manuscript submission deadline
1 August 2025
Viewed by
5593

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Social interactions uniquely influence an individual’s mental health from infancy to old age. Interactions with parents, peers, teachers, marital partners, and colleagues at work carry substantial implications, acting as pivotal sources in the normative development of social skills and emotional adjustment throughout one’s lifetime. Consequently, it is imperative to discern both the risk and protective factors embedded in social interactions to foster positive interpersonal relationships and alleviate adjustment challenges. Yet, several pertinent questions necessitate further exploration. For example, what intricate relationships exist among diverse risk and protective factors that underlie social interactions? Can we delve into the disparities in these factors across different developmental periods? How do these factors manifest in social interactions within diverse cultural contexts? What are the implications of emerging forms of social interactions (e.g., cyberbullying)? Is it feasible to uncover more neural foundations for these social interactions through advanced techniques (e.g., hyperscanning)? Given these considerations, this Topic aims to advance the existing literature on the risk and protective factors in social interactions. In light of this goal, we invite papers presenting empirical research supplemented by behavioral and neural evidence. Meta-analysis and systematic reviews are also welcomed.

Dr. Xuechen Ding
Dr. Wan Ding
Dr. Liyang Sai
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • social interaction
  • social cognition
  • social development
  • mental health
  • neuroscience
  • hyperscanning
  • parent–child relationship
  • peer relationship
  • teacher–student relationship
  • marital relationship

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Behavioral Sciences
behavsci
2.5 2.6 2011 27 Days CHF 2200 Submit
Brain Sciences
brainsci
2.7 4.8 2011 12.9 Days CHF 2200 Submit
Children
children
2.0 2.7 2014 14.4 Days CHF 2400 Submit
Education Sciences
education
2.5 4.8 2011 26.8 Days CHF 1800 Submit

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Published Papers (6 papers)

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14 pages, 825 KiB  
Article
Associations between Unsociability and Peer Problems in Chinese Children and Adolescents: A Meta-Analysis
by Na Hu, Wen Zhang, Aersheng Haidabieke, Jiyueyi Wang, Nan Zhou, Xuechen Ding and Hong Zheng
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(7), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14070590 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 354
Abstract
Research has shown that unsociability, reflected as a personal choice, is not necessarily associated with socio-emotional problems in Western countries. However, the associations between unsociability and peer problems are consistently evident in Chinese culture, yet the strength and direction in these associations are [...] Read more.
Research has shown that unsociability, reflected as a personal choice, is not necessarily associated with socio-emotional problems in Western countries. However, the associations between unsociability and peer problems are consistently evident in Chinese culture, yet the strength and direction in these associations are mixed. The present study aimed to examine whether unsociability is associated with peer problems and explored the potential moderators among the associations. A meta-analysis was conducted using publications that measured unsociability and peer problems. A total of 21 articles involving 43 effect sizes from 12,696 Chinese children and adolescents were included. The results revealed that (1) unsociability was positively associated with peer problems (r = 0.32, p < 0.001) among children and adolescents. (2) Informants (i.e., self-reports, peer nominations, teacher ratings, and parent ratings) and living areas (i.e., urban, suburban, and rural areas) significantly moderated the associations between unsociability and peer problems. Specifically, the associations were stronger for peer-nominated unsociability, self-reported peer problems, and samples in suburban areas. These findings shed light on unsociability linked to higher levels of peer problems among Chinese children and adolescents. Still, the influences are unique to peer problems and moderated by both data sources and environmental factors. Full article
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19 pages, 1799 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Parental Autonomy Support on Family Adaptation in the Context of “Double Reduction”: The Mediating Role of Parent–Child Communication and Cohesion
by Ruibo Xie, Xuan Wang, Yangguang Ding, Yanling Chen and Wan Ding
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(7), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14070534 - 26 Jun 2024
Viewed by 838
Abstract
The implementation of the “Double Reduction” policy indicates a significant change in the way households operate, such as through parental education conception and parenting form, in which family adaptation needs particular attention. Parental autonomy support has been evidenced to be related to family [...] Read more.
The implementation of the “Double Reduction” policy indicates a significant change in the way households operate, such as through parental education conception and parenting form, in which family adaptation needs particular attention. Parental autonomy support has been evidenced to be related to family adaptation in prior studies. However, the mechanism underlying the relationship between parental autonomy support and family adaptation in the context of “Double Reduction” are not clear enough but remain fascinating. This study aims to explore the process through which parental autonomy support affects the whole family’s adaptation in the context of “Double Reduction” from the perspectives of parent–child behavior and emotions (i.e., parent–child communication and parent–child cohesion). A cross-sectional design based on the questionnaire method was used to collect the characteristics of 4239 adolescent parents (1493 fathers and 3427 mothers; Mage = 43.20, SDage = 22.39) one year after the implementation of the “Double Reduction” policy. In addition, this study also used the retrospective method to obtain the characteristics of parental autonomy support before the “Double Reduction” policy. In the context of “Double Reduction”, the research results found that parental autonomy support can predict family adaptation; parental autonomy support can also influence the whole family’s adaptation through the quality of parent–child interaction. This study reveals the impact mechanism of parental autonomy support on family adaptation under the background of “Double Reduction” in China and provides insights on how to improve the adaptation of the entire family from the perspective of parent–child interaction. Full article
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20 pages, 459 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Cognitive and Emotional Factors on Social Media Users’ Information-Sharing Behaviours during Crises: The Moderating Role of the Construal Level and the Mediating Role of the Emotional Response
by Yanxia Lu
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14060495 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 931
Abstract
Understanding the intricate dynamics of social media users’ information-sharing behaviours during crises is essential for effective public opinion management. While various scholarly efforts have attempted to uncover the factors influencing information sharing through different lenses, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Building upon the [...] Read more.
Understanding the intricate dynamics of social media users’ information-sharing behaviours during crises is essential for effective public opinion management. While various scholarly efforts have attempted to uncover the factors influencing information sharing through different lenses, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Building upon the heuristic–systematic model (HSM) and construal level theory (CLT), this study explores the complex mechanisms that govern social media users’ information-sharing behaviours. The results indicate that both cognition and emotion play crucial roles in shaping users’ information-sharing behaviours, with systematic cues having the most significant impact on information-sharing behaviours. In terms of heuristic cues, positive emotions are more influential on information-sharing behaviours than primary cognition and negative emotions. Furthermore, spatial distance emerges as a key moderator, influencing individuals’ levels of engagement in information sharing. Emotion also acts as a mediator, connecting cognition to information sharing. This study provides insights into the sophisticated mechanisms of information sharing during crises, offering valuable implications for emergency management agencies to utilise social media for targeted public opinion guidance. Full article
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24 pages, 1233 KiB  
Article
How Socially Avoidant Emerging Adults Process Social Feedback during Human-to-Human Interaction after Social Rejection: An Event-Related Potential Study
by Yangdi Chen and Xinmei Deng
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14060457 - 29 May 2024
Viewed by 441
Abstract
Social avoidance refers to active non-participation in social activities, which is detrimental to healthy interpersonal interaction for emerging adults. Social rejection is a kind of negative social evaluation from others making people feel social pain. However, how socially avoidant emerging adults process social [...] Read more.
Social avoidance refers to active non-participation in social activities, which is detrimental to healthy interpersonal interaction for emerging adults. Social rejection is a kind of negative social evaluation from others making people feel social pain. However, how socially avoidant emerging adults process social feedback information after experiencing social rejection has received less attention. The current study aimed to explore the differences in social interaction feedback processing after social rejection between a socially avoidant group (n = 16) and a comparison group (n = 16) in a human-to-human interaction context. Computer game tasks with two types of interaction (cooperation and competition) were used to record the event-related potentials when receiving social interaction feedback in two conditions (social rejection and control condition). The results showed that (1) the socially avoidant group had lower reward positivity amplitudes than the comparison group when receiving social feedback; (2) the socially avoidant group presented larger P300 amplitudes in the social rejection condition than in the control condition, but the comparison group did not; and (3) social rejection evoked more negative N1 amplitudes in the socially avoidant and comparison groups. The findings suggest that socially avoidant emerging adults may have flaws in reward sensitivity during interpersonal interaction, and they might also exert more attentional and emotional resources to social feedback after social rejection. Full article
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14 pages, 1295 KiB  
Article
Electroencephalography (EEG) Evidence for the Psychological Processes of Humor Generation: A Comparison Perspective on Humor and Creativity
by Cuicui Sun and Zhijin Zhou
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14040290 - 31 Mar 2024
Viewed by 994
Abstract
(1) Background: Humor stands out as the most dynamic and innovative aspect of human intelligence. Drawing on the cognitive parallels between humor and creativity, this study explored the EEG alpha frequency band activity patterns during humor generation by comparing the process of generating [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Humor stands out as the most dynamic and innovative aspect of human intelligence. Drawing on the cognitive parallels between humor and creativity, this study explored the EEG alpha frequency band activity patterns during humor generation by comparing the process of generating humorous and creative ideas. (2) Methods: Thirty-six participants were randomly assigned to either the humor generation group or the creative generation group, and the dependent variable was the neural oscillation in both low-frequency and high-frequency alpha during the early, middle, and late stages of both humor and creative generation. (3) Results: In the early stages, both humor and creative generation exhibited significantly higher power in low-frequency alpha and high-frequency alpha in the temporal region compared to the middle and late stages. In the middle and late stages, the low-frequency alpha oscillation in the frontal region for humor generation was significantly higher than that for creative generation. (4) Conclusions: Humor and creative generation share similar neural activation patterns in the early stages, involving the activation and retrieval of long-term memory information based on contextual cues. The differences between the two primarily manifest in the middle and late stages, where the selection of humorous ideas requires inhibiting not only irrelevant or ordinary ideas, akin to creative generation but also novel yet non-humorous ideas. This study sheds light on the neurocognitive mechanisms of humor generation and provides insights into the cognitive parallels and distinctions between humor generation and creative generation. Full article
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13 pages, 3518 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Praise on Cooperative Behavior in Three-Player Public Goods Games and Its Gender Differences
by Jieyu Lv and Yingjun Zhang
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14040264 - 22 Mar 2024
Viewed by 952
Abstract
Previous research has primarily focused on static factors influencing cooperative behavior in social dilemmas, with less attention given to dynamic factors within group social interactions, such as positive feedback received during interactions, i.e., praise. This study, through a between-subjects online experiment with a [...] Read more.
Previous research has primarily focused on static factors influencing cooperative behavior in social dilemmas, with less attention given to dynamic factors within group social interactions, such as positive feedback received during interactions, i.e., praise. This study, through a between-subjects online experiment with a single-factor, two-level design (praise: public praise/no praise), investigates the impact of praise on cooperative behavior changes across two rounds of a three-player public goods problem. Results revealed the following: (1) A positive correlation between individuals’ contributions across two rounds and a negative correlation with the number of correct answers in rule comprehension questions were evident; for men, a correlation between rule comprehension and first-round contributions was observed. (2) Multilevel model results showed that praise, role, and rule comprehension significantly positively affected contribution changes across two rounds; gender did not significantly affect contribution changes. Specifically, under public-praise conditions, contribution changes were greater. Publicly praised individuals showed positive or negative behavior changes, while those not praised in the same group showed positive changes. Men contributed significantly more in the first round than women, with no gender difference found in contribution changes. Rule comprehension positively predicted contribution changes, indicating that more correct answers led to greater positive changes in contributions. These results not only support the inferential social learning perspective, suggesting that through praise, individuals can infer external world perceptions and self-evaluations, affecting both the praised (positively or negatively) and positively influencing non-praised individuals in the same group, but also provide a theoretical basis and intervention strategies for team and organizational management in groups. Full article
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