The role of empathy and social anxiety in Latinx adolescents' indirect peer aggression during the transition to high school

Naomi Tarlow, Annette M. La Greca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between decreased empathy (i.e., cognitive and affective) and indirect and cyber peer aggression among Latinx adolescents during their transition to high school. Further, we examined the degree to which social anxiety moderated this relationship. Participants were 469 Latinx ninth graders, ages 13–17 years (M = 14.52, SD = 0.58; 58% girls). Adolescents completed the Revised Peer Experiences Questionnaire, Cyber Peer Experiences Questionnaire, Basic Empathy Scale, and Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents at two different time points, 3 months apart. Hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed concurrent and prospective relationships between lower cognitive empathy and the perpetration of both indirect and cyber aggression. In addition, social anxiety moderated the concurrent associations between both types of empathy and both types of aggression perpetration. Results suggest that interventions that facilitate cognitive empathy and decrease social anxiety may help to reduce adolescents' indirect and cyber aggression toward peers throughout the high school transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAggressive Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • adolescence
  • affective empathy
  • cognitive empathy
  • cyber aggression
  • indirect aggression
  • social anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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