Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Social Work

Major Professor

William R. Nugent

Committee Members

Roger Nooe, John Orme, Bob Wahler


Statement of the Problem: No specific, short term model of empathy has been developed and tested with the general adult population even though researchers have established a link between empathic skills and the art of helping and caring for others. Additionally, as a major component of "emotional intelligence," it is argued that empathy enhances successful living in general (Gibbs, 1995). A large body of research suggests that more empathic people tend to engage in more altruistic behaviors, are less aggressive, are more affiliative, score higher on measures of moral judgement, and are more pleasant to be around (Mehrabian, Young, and Sato, 1988). The questions of how to best define empathy, teach empathy, and measure empathy remain unanswered. There appears to be a need for further development of empathy training, especially short-term, easily taught models which can be used with adolescents and adults.

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