Socialization and mothers’ and adolescents’ empathy-related characteristics

Nancy Eisenberg, Sandra McNally

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The primary purpose of this study was to examine the relations of maternal childrearing practices over an 8-year period to adolescents’ sympathy, personal distress, and cognitive perspective-taking. In addition, the relations of maternal empathy-related characteristics to children’s empathy-related characteristics and to their own childrearing practices were assessed. Maternal practices were assessed with a Q-sort on five occasions, each 2 years apart; mothers’ and adolescents’ empathy-related characteristics were assessed when the adolescents were 15 to 16 years old. Mothers’ positive emotional communication and rational independence training were positively correlated with adolescents’ perspective taking, as well as with mothers’ perspective taking. Mothers’ reluctance to discipline was associated with low levels of adolescents’ (particularly girls’) personal distress. In addition, maternal positive emotional communication was associated with high sympathy in girls and low personal distress in boys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCognitive and Moral Development, Academic Achievement in Adolescence
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781134828104
ISBN (Print)9780815332916
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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