NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED553378
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 201
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-6128-8
The Relationship between Public Middle School Teachers' Reports of Their Empathy and Their Reports of Their Likelihood of Intervening in a Bullying Situation: An Action Research Study
Singh, Jasdeep
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Hartford
The purpose of this action research was to explore and describe the relationship between middle school teachers' reports of their empathy and their reports of their likelihood of intervening in a bullying situation. Teacher volunteers from a single middle school within a suburban school district in a northeastern state were asked to complete two instruments. The first was the Empathy Assessment Index (EAI; Gerdes, Segal, & Lietz, 2011), a psychometric instrument designed to measure empathy. The second was a modified version of the Bullying Attitude Questionnaire (BAQ; Craig, Henderson, & Murphy, 2000; Yoon, 2004; Yoon & Kerber, 2003), a vignette-based questionnaire designed to measure teachers' likelihood of intervening in a bullying situation. The conceptual model of empathy that guided this study was developed by Gerdes and Segal (2009). The model has three main components: (a) the affective physiological response to another's emotions and actions, (b) the cognitive processing of one's affective response as well as someone else's perspective, and (c) the conscious decision-making to take empathetic action. The primary difference of this model from previous empathy models is that the authors used the profession of social work as the context for their conceptual framework. Social work requires a professional to not just feel for and understand a client, but to also work to engage in altruism, or the empathic-based action to relieve the pain of another. This empathic action is at the heart of helping professions, such as social work, where one would consistently need to take action to help others, be in the environment with the people they are trying to help, and require a commitment to social justice in order improve another person's living situation. Data analysis led to 17 findings overall. Notably, there existed a statistically significant positive correlation between teachers' reports of their empathy and their reports of their likelihood of intervening in a bullying situation. This finding provides support for the use of the EAI with teachers. It also provides evidence of empathy's role in influencing the possible acts of middle school teachers, a group whose empathy had not previously been studied. The finding of the separate positive correlations of the teachers' total empathy, perspective taking, and self-other awareness scores to their reported likelihood of intervening in a bullying situation also supports the use of the EAI and modified BAQ as a way to asses the full Gerdes and Segal (2009) model of empathy. Recommendations for professional development in the area of empathy are also discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A