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Boys will be boys? Empathy and the relationship between gender and agression

Bretag, Tessa Arwen, Tyson, Graham and Szarkowicz, Diane (2005). Boys will be boys? Empathy and the relationship between gender and agression. In: Katsikitis, Mary 40th Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference: Past Reflections, Future Directions, Melbourne, 28 September - 2 October 2005.

Document type: Conference Paper
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Author Bretag, Tessa Arwen
Tyson, Graham
Szarkowicz, Diane
Title Boys will be boys? Empathy and the relationship between gender and agression
Conference Name 40th Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference: Past Reflections, Future Directions
Conference Location Melbourne
Conference Dates 28 September - 2 October 2005
Conference Publication Title Proceedings of the 40th APS Annual Conference: Past Reflections, Future Directions
Editor Katsikitis, Mary
Place of Publication Melbourne, VIC
Publisher Australian Psychological Society Ltd.
Publication Year 2005
Volume Number 1
Issue Number 1
ISBN 0-909881-27-8   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 41
End Page 45
Total Pages 5
HERDC Category E1 - Conference Publication (DEST)
Abstract Why are boys more aggressive than girls? Could it be that boys lack the ability to empathise with others? The aim of this study was to investigate the significance of dispositional empathy (perspective taking, fantasy empathic concern, and personal distress) as a mediator in the effect of gender on aggression (physical and verbal aggression, anger and hostility) in adolescents. Cross sectional data was gathered via self-report method from 108 secondary students in Alice Springs. Male participants showed consistently lower scores in all four measured empathy dimensions, in the presence of consistently higher scores in all four measured components of aggression. Gender differences were the greatest in the areas of empathic concern and physical aggression, reaching statistical significance, which inferred substantial linking between gender, aggression and empathy. Regression analysis demonstrated empathic concern to be a significant partial mediator between gender and physical aggression. In light of this finding, interventions fostering dispositional empathic concern are recommended to improve adolescents' social interactions, with potential positive side effects such as increased self-esteem, engagement with the community, increased secondary school retention rates and enhanced future employment oppurtunities.
 
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Created: Fri, 12 Sep 2008, 08:35:25 CST by Administrator