Palmese, F., & Schmidt, S.
Empathy during life span
The present study investigates empathic capacity during life span from young adulthood to old age, by using the Italian version of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI; Davis, 1980; Italian version, Albiero, Ingoglia, & Lo Coco, 2006), a widely used questionnaire for the evaluation of empathic responsivity. The IRI was administered to 509 participants divided in three age groups: young adults (18-34 years of age), adults (35-64 years), and elderly people (65-85 years), equally represented by females and males. The results of the exploratory and confirmatory analyses support the hypothesized four-factor model (empathic concern, personal distress, fantasy and perspective taking), as seen in previous studies (Albiero et al., 2006; Davis, 1980) although a far more extended age group was considered. Moreover, gender and some other personal and contextual factors seem to influence the empathic capacity of the participants.Back