Internet Communication and Empathy in Adolescence and Early Adulthood



The article investigates the influence of modern means of communication on the development of empathy in adolescents and young adults.The article contains an analytical overview of current research in this area with the fixation of the contradictory findings about the nature of virtual communication influence on empathic ability in adolescents and young adults.We propose that the balance of virtual communication and direct contact plays leading role for the development of social cognition.The article presents study results of indicators of severity of empathy in adolescents and universities students according to channels of communication with other people they prefer – face-to-face contact, social networking, phone, Skype and various sites on the Internet.The study involved 170 people of Moscow's educational institutions (colleges, schools and universities), which offers a questionnaire aimed at identifying the preferred communication channels, as well as the technique of "Interpersonal Reactivity Index" M.Davis tests the empathic abilities.The main conclusions are made on the basis of the data: most of today's adolescents and university students from all channels of communication prefer face-to-face communication; they differ from those who prefer to communicate in social networks, higher rates of empathic abilities. This article was prepared with the financial support of the Russian Science Foundation (project N 14-18-03461) on the base of Federal State Budgetary Institution «V. Serbsky Federal Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology» of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

General Information

Keywords: Internet communication, direct contact, adolescence, adolescence, empathy

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Kholmogorova A.B., Klimenkova E.N. Internet Communication and Empathy in Adolescence and Early Adulthood [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie [Psychological Science and Education], 2016. Vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 127–141. DOI: 10.17759/psyedu.2016080413. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Information About the Authors

Alla B. Kholmogorova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Leading Researcher, Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry (A Branch of the National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Elizaveta N. Klimenkova, PhD in Psychology, Senior Lecturer, Department of Clinical and Counseling Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, State professional educational establishment Complex «South-West»,Psychologist, school psychologist, the structural subdivision "Sevastopol", Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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