Author(s): Katsuma L, Yamasaki K
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Abstract This study examined how three types of aggression (reactive-expressive, reactive-inexpressive, and proactive-relational) influence empathy (empathic cognition, role-taking, sharing emotion, and helping) which were regarded as the emotional aspects of social information processing (SIP). Elementary school children (grades four to six; n=667) completed a set of questionnaires consisting of the Proactive-Reactive Aggression Questionnaire for assessing the three types of aggression and an originally developed hypothetical-conflict-situation instrument for children's empathy responses to each of the three types of aggressive responses, which were presented using vignettes. Results showed that, compared to non-aggressive children, proactive-relationally aggressive children felt fewer empathy responses except for role-taking in any aggressive-response situations. This result was also supported by the structural equation modeling analyses that were conducted to verify whether children's aggression causes their distortion of empathy. The implication that proactive-relationally aggressive children seemed to have deficits in the emotional components of the SIP was discussed.
This article was published in Shinrigaku Kenkyu
and referenced in International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology