Examining the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) among early and late adolescents and their mothers

S.T. Hawk, L. Keijsers, S.T.J. Branje, J. van der Graaff, M. de Wied, W.H.J. Meeus

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We examined whether the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI; Davis, 1980 Davis, M. H. 1980. A multidimensional approach to individual differences in empathy. Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 10: 85 [Google Scholar]), consisting of Perspective Taking (PT), Empathic Concern (EC), Personal Distress (PD), and Fantasy (FN), is a psychometrically invariant empathy measure for early and late adolescents and their mothers. Confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated adequate properties and psychometric invariance across 2 Dutch samples (269 early adolescents, 232 late adolescents). Females scored higher than males on each subscale. Early adolescents scored lower than late adolescents on PT and FN, and higher on PD. The different groups showed similar subscale associations with psychosocial health indexes, and similar subscale contributions to a higher order empathy dimension. Most dimensions showed positive correlations between adolescents and mothers. The IRI appears adequate for examining empathy across the span of adolescence, as well as patterns between youths and mothers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-106
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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