An Investigation of Empathic Tendencies and Self-Concepts of Secondary School Students
İlköğretim İkinci Kademedeki Çocukların Empatik Eğilimlerinin ve Benlik Kavramlarının İncelenmesi

Güneş SALI
2013 Kuramsal Eğitimbilim Dergisi  
The aim of this study was to investigate empathic tendencies and self-concepts of secondary school students (6, 7 and 8th graders) according to certain variables and possible relationships between empathic tendency and self-concept. Data were collected by means of the General Information Form, KA-SI Empathic Tendency Scale for Children and Adolescents-Adolescent Form, and Piers-Harris Children's Self Concept Scale. To analyze the data, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, two-way analysis of variance
more » ... ), Scheffe test were done and correlation coefficients were calculated. Results of the study showed that type of school attendance and gender had significant effect on the "Emotional Empathy" and "Cognitive Empathy" sub-scores and the "Total Empathy" scores. Grade level had significant impact on the "Cognitive Empathy" sub-score, though. It was determined that type of attendance and grade level had significant effect on the "Self-Concept" score. For all three types of school attendance, positive correlations were found between the "Cognitive Empathy" and "Total Empathy" scores and the "Self-Concept" score. Extended Abstract Purpose and Significance: Being empathic is a positive trait. It can affect close relationships positively, which contributes to health, and thus protects the individuality of the child and supports his growth. Therefore, it seems important to support development of empathic skills and self-concept of children at the secondary school level (Grades 6, 7 and 8). For this reason, the study aims to investiate empathic tendencies and self-concepts of secondary school students (6, 7 and 8th graders) in both regional boarding school and secondary schools according to certain variables and possible relationships between empathic tendency and self-concept. Method: The correlational survey design was used in the study conducted on 397 students (191 females and 206 males) attending the regional boarding school and a secondary school in Kayseri, Turkey. Data were screened to check for invalid cases and 48 of all were deleted. Hence, further analyses were based upon the data from 349 students (176 females and 173 males). Data were collected by means of the General Information Form, KA-SI Empathic Tendency Scale for Children and Adolescents -Adolescent Form developed by Kaya and Siyez (2010) and the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. To analyze the data, two-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) were used. The Scheffe test was employed to make multiple comparisons between groups that significantly differ from each other. Furthermore, correlation coefficients were * Assist. Prof. Dr., Bozok University, 497 calculated to report correlations between the scores received from the Self-Concept Scale and the KA-SI Empathic Tendency Scale for Children and Adolescents -Adolescent Form (Büyüköztürk, 2002) . The level of significance was set as .05. Results: Results of the study showed that type of school attendance and gender had significant effect on the "Emotional Empathy" and "Cognitive Empathy" sub-scores and the "Total Empathy" score of the KA-SI Empathic Tendency Scale for Children and Adolescents -Adolescent Form, and grade level had significant impact on the "Cognitive Empathy" sub-score, though (p<.01; p<.05). It was determined that type of attendance and grade level had significant effect on the "Self-Concept" score (p<.01). For all three types of school attendance, positive correlations were found between the "Cognitive Empathy" and "Total Empathy"scores and the "Self-Concept" score. Discussion and Conclusions: The results of the research showed that there is a difference between empathic tendencies of students attending the regional boarding school and of those attending a secondary school. Regarding "Emotional Empathy" subscores, the difference was in favor of those attending the regional boarding school without boarding. The "Emotional Empathy", "Cognitive Empathy" sub-scores and the "Total Empathy" score of students significantly differed on gender (in favor of girls). Grade level of students had significant effect on the "Cognitive Empathy" sub-scores and this effect was in favor of 7th graders attending the regional boarding school with boarding. It was also determined that there is a significant difference between the Self-Concept scores (in favor of those attending the regional boarding school without boarding). Moreover, grade level had significant impact on the Self-Concept scores. The research also found that there is a positive relationship between empathy and selfconcept. In light of those conclusions, the following recommendations can be made: It has been found that girls are more empathic. It can be asserted that while empathic behavior of girls is supported, boys are not encouraged to display their emotions. Therefore, boys at this age should also be supported and positive attitudes towards girls' expression of feelings should be directed to boys'. In families and at schools, models appropriate for students should be presented. Studies might be carried out for developing teachers to teach students in regional boarding schools. In-service training programs should include plans to develop empathic skills of teachers. Drama, sports and scouting activities should be arranged to develop self-concept of students attending regional boarding schools who are away from their families, who spend a lot of time at school environment and who are not too much supported by their families. This research focused on empathic tendencies and self-concepts of students (6, 7 and 8 th graders) attending the regional boarding school and a secondary school. Studies to examine empathic skills and self-concepts of younger children might further be conducted.
doi:10.5578/keg.6711 fatcat:pwyth7aqcreale2r3j4qthjlxm