Examining the Effects of Empathy on Relationship Satisfaction in Couples

Danielle Mccarthy (2012). Examining the Effects of Empathy on Relationship Satisfaction in Couples Professional Doctorate, , The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Danielle Mccarthy
Thesis Title Examining the Effects of Empathy on Relationship Satisfaction in Couples
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-02-29
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Kim Halford
Total pages 104
Total black and white pages 104
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Empathy is thought to be an important contributor to relationship satisfaction but has attracted limited research attention. The aim of the current research was to better understand how empathy relates to relationship satisfaction by exploring the direct effect of empathy on relationship satisfaction as well as the moderating effect of empathy on the association between negative communication and relationship satisfaction. The research involved two cohorts of couples: 2010 cohort (n = 101) and 2011 cohort (n = 52). The results provided partial support for a direct association between empathy and relationship satisfaction. In the 2010 cohort high partner empathy predicted high relationship satisfaction for men and women but this was not replicated in the 2011 cohort. Partial support was also found for empathy predicting relationship satisfaction once negative communication had been accounted for. In the 2010 cohort high partner empathy predicted high relationship satisfaction for men and women after negative communication had been entered into the equation but this finding was not replicated in the 2011 cohort. Support was not found for empathy moderating the association of high negative communication on relationship satisfaction in either the 2010 cohort or the 2011 cohort. These findings suggest that empathy between spouses has the potential to be an important component of relationship interventions however, clearer insight into the role of empathy in relationships is needed.

 
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Created: Wed, 14 Nov 2012, 15:20:35 EST by Danielle Mccarthy on behalf of Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences