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Bryant's Empathy Index: A Closer Examination of its Internal Structure

Goudena, Paul, Matthys, Walter, Meeus, Wim, Engels, Rutger, Vermande, Marjolijn, Van Goozen, Stephanie Helena Maria, Maas, Cora and de Wied, Minet 2007. Bryant's Empathy Index: A Closer Examination of its Internal Structure. European Journal of Psychological Assessment 23 (2) , pp. 99-104. 10.1027/1015-5759.23.2.99

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The present study examined the internal structure of Bryant's (1982) Index of Empathy for Children and Adolescents, a 22-item questionnaire measure of dispositional affective empathy. Third graders (n = 817), fourth to sixth graders (n = 82), and eighth graders (n = 1,079) were studied. Factor analyses revealed that the empathy index is multidimensional, encompassing two subscales. The same two-factor solution emerged in all samples. The first factor, labeled empathic sadness, showed good reliability in the two larger samples. Sex differences were established in each sample, with girls reporting more empathic sadness than boys. The second factor, reflecting attitudes rather than feelings, showed weak reliability in all samples, and poor differentiation between the sexes in the two younger age samples. The findings seriously challenge the validity of the 22-item empathy index. Improvement of the scale as a measure of affective empathy is indicated.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: empathy index, children, adolescents, internal structure, sex differences
Publisher: Hogrefe Publishing
ISSN: 1015-5759
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:05

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