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The relationship between emotional empathy, prosocial and aggressive behavior among early adolescents


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Veža, Katarina. (2006). The relationship between emotional empathy, prosocial and aggressive behavior among early adolescents. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Psychology. [mentor Keresteš, Gordana].

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Empathy, prosocial and aggressive behavior are an important part of interpersonal functioning. This study tries to contribute to the understanding of these terms and their mutual relations. Taking into consideration a newer concept of direct/indirect aggression, we have tried to address several issues related to the level of emotional empathy, prosociality and different kinds of aggression in early adolescence. The 7th and 8th grade students of three primary schools in Zagreb have participated in the research (N=339). The participants have self-rated their empathy, while prosocial, direct and indirect aggressive behavior has been assessed by peer-ratings. Results have shown that girls scored higher on the scale of emotional empathy and that their peers rated them as more prosocial and less overal and directly aggressive. Although girls are somewhat more prone to indirect than direct aggressive behavior, while the situation is opposite with the boys, boys and girls do not differ according to the frequency of use of indirectly aggressive gestures. As expected, prosociality correlated positively with emotional empathy and negatively with total, direct and indirect aggression. The whole sample and the sample of boys both showed significant negative relation between emotional empathy and total and direct aggression, while the correlation of emotional empathy and indirect aggression has not reached statistical significance. Emotional empathy and prosociality are significantly more correlated in boys, while in girls there is a stronger relation of indirect aggression with direct and total aggression.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: emotional empathy, prosociality, direct and indirect aggression, gender differences, adolescents
Subjects: Psychology > Socijalna psihologija
Departments: Department of Psychology
Supervisor: Keresteš, Gordana
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2014 14:06

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