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The Correlation Between Empathy and Perceived Social Support in a College Student Population

McDonnell, Julie (2022) The Correlation Between Empathy and Perceived Social Support in a College Student Population. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

A positive perception of social support and high empathy have been shown together previously to produce better outcomes for college students. The aim of the present study was to further expand on this research and examine whether a relationship exists between perceived social support and empathy in a college student population. The study hypothesised a positive correlation between empathy and perceived social support, a gender difference in empathy level, and a difference in empathy and social support between different college courses. 81 college students completed demographic information, the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List-12, and the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire. Although a small, positive relationship was found, Pearson’s Correlation showed the correlation between empathy and perceived social support was non-significant (p = .306). Further analysis from a t-test and one-way ANOVA found significant differences between male (M = 48.97, SD = 6.09) and female (M = 52.61, SD = 5.45; p = .007) empathy scores, and college course (p = .002) in total empathy level. No significant differences were found for perceived social support between courses (p = .584). Findings suggest that empathy is important for college students. Development of empathy may be necessary to help students maintain positive perceptions of social support.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Emotions
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2022 16:12
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2022 16:12
URI: https://norma.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/5663

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