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Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2075-3470

ISSN (online): 2311-9446


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 1992

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Empaty ability and the quality of interpersonal relations in youth 1282


Klimenkova E.N.
Psychologist, school psychologist, the structural subdivision "Sevastopol", State professional educational establishment Complex «South-West», Moscow, Russia

We present the results of the study of the relationship between empathy and the quality of interpersonal relations in adolescents and students. Interpersonal relations are operationalized through attachment styles — secure, anxious—preoccupied and avoiding. We review studies of the impact of attachment on empathy development. The present study involved 169 people, including school, college, and university students. We used the Interpersonal Reactivity Index by M. Davis and forced-choice attachment paragraphs by C. Hazan and F. Shaver. Students with secure attachment have the lowest level of personal distress. Empathic concern and the perspective taking indicators are higher in the ambivalent attachment group in comparison with the avoidantly attached students. It is concluded that avoidance of intimacy with other people is accompanied by less pronounced empathy than striving for intimacy and a simultaneous fear of rejection.

Keywords: empathy, empathic concern, interpersonal relations, perspective taking, personal distress, adolescents, youth, attachment

Column: Empirical studies


For Reference

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