Publication Date

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Counselor Education

Abstract

This Master’s thesis explored the subject of empathy in adolescents. The purpose of this research project was to examine if empathy skills training has a positive effect on empathy skill development in middle school children. This study was an outcome-based program evaluation with a pre/post test design. In this quantitative study, a pre/post test scale was developed by the researcher to assess students’ experiences with empathy within the school context before and after an eight session intervention including activities. Fourteen eighth grade students from a middle school in Western New York participated after consent was requested from 30 parents or guardians. The researcher shared a descriptive analysis of the study and results based on data from surveys administered by the researcher prior to the program intervention and then a post-survey following the eight sessions together. The results of the study indicated a heightened awareness of bullying as well as implications of actions by self and others. Follow-up programs are suggested for future research.

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