Abstract/Details

Empathy and reading of narrative fiction among community college students


2010 2010

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Abstract (summary)

A non-experimental correlational design was used to explore whether relationships exist between empathy and reading of narrative fiction among students enrolled in composition at a community college in the Midwest. Empathy was measured using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) developed by M. H. Davis in 1980. Four dimensions of empathy were also measured using the IRI: personal distress, perspective-taking, fantasy, and empathic concern. Reading of narrative fiction was measured using the Author Recognition Test (ART) developed by K. E. Stanovich and R. F. West (1989). A Pearson product-moment correlation test was used to obtain a correlation coefficient for empathy and reading of narrative fiction. Results also included correlation coeffecients for each dimension of empathy and reading of narrative fiction. Two-sample t tests were used to generate p-values for empathy and gender, reading of narrative fiction and gender, empathy and enrollment in developmental or first-year composition, and reading of narrative fiction and enrollment in developmental or first-year composition. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted and p-values were generated for empathy and age as well as reading of narrative fiction and age. Results indicate that statistically significant correlations do not exist between empathy and reading of narrative fiction. Statistically significant correlations exist between the empathy dimensions of fantasy and personal distress with reading of narrative fiction but not between the empathy dimensions of perspective-taking and empathic concern with reading of narrative fiction. Mean scores for empathy and four dimensions of empathy were higher for women than for men; the difference was statistically significant. Implications for practice are that educators need to understand empathy to support students' social development, which is related to academic success. Measuring students' empathy with the IRI could provide data that informs educators' decisions about incorporating empathy training into curricula and which empathy dimensions to emphasize during empathy training from one class to the next.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Community college education;
Special education;
Literacy;
Reading instruction;
Empathy;
College students
Classification
0275: Community college education
0529: Special education
0535: Literacy
0535: Reading instruction
Identifier / keyword
Education; Community college; Empathy; Narrative; Narrative fiction; Prosocial; Reading; Student development
Title
Empathy and reading of narrative fiction among community college students
Author
Whalen, Lisa M.
Number of pages
245
Publication year
2010
Degree date
2010
School code
1351
Source
DAI-A 71/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781109693478
Advisor
Myers, Carmen
Committee member
Clayton, Phyllis; Synder, Leone
University/institution
Capella University
Department
School of Education
University location
United States -- Minnesota
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3397454
ProQuest document ID
305243874
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305243874
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