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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies 12/2018

14-08-2018 | Original Paper

Empathy, Depressive Symptoms, and Self-Esteem in Adolescence: The Moderating Role of the Mother–Adolescent Relationship

Auteurs: Lindsey M. Green, Lies Missotten, Erin B. Tone, Koen Luyckx

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 12/2018

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Abstract

A large body of literature provides support for the role of empathy as a prominent factor in socio-emotional development and functioning. Although deficits in empathy are known to associate with maladaptive behaviors, less literature documents the effects of excessive empathy, which has been found to relate to various internalizing problems such as depression. There are two types of empathy, cognitive and affective, which manifest themselves in different ways and thus, have differential effects on outcomes. Therefore, in a sample of 724 Belgian adolescents (Mage = 13.83 ± .96), the present study sought to elucidate the effects of cognitive and affective empathy on depressive symptoms and self-esteem. We also explored the interactive effects of empathy and adolescent perceived mother–child relationship quality in the prediction of our outcomes. Results revealed affective and cognitive empathy predicted outcomes concurrently, with affective empathy predicting more maladaptive outcomes and cognitive empathy predicting more positive outcomes. Interaction effects emerged between affective empathy and the relationship quality indicators. However, no interactions occurred with cognitive empathy. Further, longitudinal data revealed only cognitive empathy had long-term effects (predicting positive outcomes such as lower levels of depression and higher levels of self-esteem) suggesting that cognitive empathy may be a protective factor. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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Metagegevens
Titel
Empathy, Depressive Symptoms, and Self-Esteem in Adolescence: The Moderating Role of the Mother–Adolescent Relationship
Auteurs
Lindsey M. Green
Lies Missotten
Erin B. Tone
Koen Luyckx
Publicatiedatum
14-08-2018
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Child and Family Studies / Uitgave 12/2018
Print ISSN: 1062-1024
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2843
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-018-1216-z

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