Empathy in infancy: Factors affecting empathy in pre-school children

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Smith, Aphria
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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This experiment examined the association between empathy and pre-school children. The aim of this study was to highlight the child factors of age, gender, sibling status and educator perceptions with regards to emotional understanding. This quantitative study was conducted using The Empathy Scale for Children (ESC) and the Empathy Questionnaire for Teachers (EmQue) in order to collect the data from 40 pre-school children (Male = 21, Female = 19). A Mann-Whitney U test as well as a Spearman’s Rho Correlation were performed for analysis. Results showed no significant relationships with regards to age, gender, or educator perspectives within this research. There were slight correlations with regards to age and gender indicating that three-year-olds and males were more negatively skewed than four-year-olds and females, but statistically they were not significant. The lack of correlation within this study suggests that empathic development is more complex and should incorporate further developmental aspects.