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Title: The development of the Cognitive and Affective Empathy Scale for younger Children CAES-C, and its adapted version for Adolescents (CAES-C/A), and an evaluation of the Support Group Method and Circle Time
Author: Howard, Sharon
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 2746
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis argued that empathy is a two-dimensional dispositional trait, dependent upon aspects of an individual’s socialisation and dispositional temperament; and as a pro-social emotion influenced by the nature and closeness of an individual’s relationship towards a specific peer. It focussed upon peer relationships across everyday interactions and bullying behaviours were assessed by the Participant Role Scale. Five studies were conducted. Study 1 investigated the development and the reliability of the Cognitive and Affective Empathy Scale for Younger Children (CAES-C) using test-retest methodology. There were two main factor loadings of empathy; one (affective) and two (cognitive). Girls scored higher levels of empathy than boys and were more cognitively empathetic to same gender peers. Study 2 measured bullies, bully-victims and non-bullying roles (victims, outsiders and defenders) empathy levels. It found that defenders had higher cognitive empathy levels than victim-bullies and combined bullying roles. Study 3 used an adaptation of the CAES-C with adolescents (CAES-C/A). Findings corresponded to Study One, with two main factors of affective and cognitive empathy. Studies 4 and 5 investigated the effectiveness of two anti-bullying interventions, an adaptation of the Support Group Method, and Circle Time, using the CAES-C/A as an outcome measure. It found girls had higher cognitive empathy towards same gender peers, as in Study 1 and more likely to have a greater understanding of another girls social and situational perceptions. Both interventions were effective in enhancing cognitive and developing affective empathy. However, results indicated especially in younger ages and for opposite gender peers that affective empathy was predominately a dispositional trait, dependent upon the emotionality and temperament of a specific individual; and cognitive empathy was a more fluid construct which had a greater chance of being heightened. In conclusion the CAES-C and CAES-C/A allowed a useful baseline measure of empathy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral