The Relationship Between Perceived Empathy and Empathetic Action in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum DisorderShow full item record
|The Relationship Between Perceived Empathy and Empathetic Action in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
|Empathy is linked with positive social outcomes and is important in the healthy functioning of society. Much of what we learn about emotions and appropriate behavior comes from what is exhibited by those closest to us. Parents are vital in facilitating the healthy development of empathy in their children. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have been found to have deficits in displaying empathy. However, there is limited research on how raising a child with ASD can influence the parent's empathetic behavior. It also remains unclear whether self-report measurements of empathy accurately assess an individual's empathetic behavior. The goal of the current study was to examine the relationship between parent empathy and having a child with ASD and the discrepancies between parent empathy self-report and parent empathetic action during parent-child interaction. The influence of different variables such as parental well-being and the severity of the child's ASD symptoms were examined. Participants included 22 typically developing children and 19 children diagnosed with ASD and their caregivers. Results indicated that parents of children with ASD were more likely to display higher degrees of empathy with their children but were negatively influenced by their level of depressive symptoms as well as their child's deficits related to motivation. Child affect was found to be influential in both the typically developing and ASD cohorts. In general, self-report did not appear to be representative of the parent's empathetic action during the parent-child interaction however, parents of children with ASD who scored higher in personal distress tended to respond with higher degrees of empathy.
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- Undergraduate Honors Papers