Psychometric Properties of the Empathy Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents - Revised (EmQue-CA-R)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Psychology and Education of Exceptional Children

2 2. Assistant professor, Department of General Exceptional Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Islamic Azad University of Central Tehran, Branch, Tehran, Iran.


Aims: The main purpose of the present study was to investigate psychometric properties of the Empathy Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents-Short Form (EmQue-CA-R, Overgaauw & et al, 2017) among Iranian students. Methods: The present study was a descriptive correlational study. The statistical population included all students in Tehran in the age range of 11 to 17 years who were selected using available sampling method 280 students (145 boys and 135 girls). After translating and obtaining the opinions of experts and subjects, the face validity of the questionnaire were confirmed. SPSS and AMOS software were used for statistical analysis. Results:  The results of the confirmatory factor analysis, based AMOS software, showed that three-factor structure of the affective empathy, cognitive empathy and intention to comfort in the Iranian sample had good fit with data. Correlational analyses between this Questionnaire with AMES provided initial evidence for the ACS convergent validity. Internal consistency coefficients for the affective empathy, cognitive empathy and intention to comfort subscales were .79, .76 and .82, respectively. Conclusion: In sum, these findings provide evidence for the validity and reliability of the EmQue- CA-R as an instrument to measure empathy among Iranian students. This scale can be used to measure empathy in research and treatment departments.


Albiero, P., Matricardi, G., Speltri, D., Toso, D. (2009). The assessment of empathy in adolescence: A contribution to the Italian validation of the ‘‘Basic Empathy Scale’’. Journal of Adolescence.32(2): 393-408. [Link]
Andreoni, J., Rao, J.M., Trachtman, H. (2017). Avoiding the Ask: A Field Experiment on Altruism, Empathy, and Charitable Giving. J Pol Econom.125(3):625-53. [Link]
Atkins, D. (2014). The Role of Culture in Empathy: The Consequences and Explanations of Cultural Differences in Empathy at the Affective and Cognitive Levels. Doctoral dissertation, University of Kent. [Link]
Baron-Cohen, S., Richler, J., Bisarya, D., Gurunathan, N., & Wheelwright, S. (2003). The Systemising Quotient (SQ): An investigation of adults with Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism and normal sex differences. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B, and Special issue on “Autism: Mind and Brain”. 358(1430), 361-374. [Link]
Bryant, B. K. (1982). An index of empathy for children and adolescents. Child Dev.53, 413–425. [Link]
Butovskaya, M.L., Burkova,V.N., Randall, A.K., Donato, S., Fedenok, J.N., Hocker, L., Kline, K.M., Ahmadi, K., Alghraibeh, A.M., Allami, F.B.M., et al.(2021). Cross-Cultural Perspectives on the Role of Empathy during COVID-19’s First Wave. Sustainability. 13, 7431. [Link]
Cheon, B. K., Im, D. M., Harada, T., Kim, J. S., Mathur, V. A., Scimeca, J. M., et al. (2013). Cultural modulation of the neural correlates of emotional pain perception: the role of other-focusedness. Neuropsychologia. 51: 1177–1186. [Link]
Chopik, W. J., O’Brien, E., & Konrath, S. H. (2017). Differences in empathic concern and perspective taking across 63 countries. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 48(1), 23–38. [Link]
Cliffordson, C. (2002). The hierarchical structure of empathy: dimensional organization and relations to social functioning. Scand. J. Psychol. 43: 49–59. [Link]
Cuff, B. M. P., Brown, S. J., Taylor, L., & Howat, D. J. (2016). Empathy: A review of the concept. Emotion Review. 8(2): 144–153. [Link]
Cunico, L., Sartori, R., Marognolli, O., Meneghini, A.M. (2012). Developing empathy in nursing students: a cohort longitudinal study. J Clin Nurs;21(13–14):2016–25. [Link]
Cutierrez, S. M., Escarti C. A., & Pascual, C. (2011). Relationships among empathy, prosocial behavior, aggressiveness, self-efficacy and pupils' personal and social responsibility. Psicothema, 23 (1): 9-13. [Link]
Davis, M. H. (1980). A multidimensional approach to individual differences in empathy. JSAS Catalog Sel. Doc. Psychol. 10, 85. [Link]
De Waal,F.B., Preston, S.D.(2017). Mammalian empathy: Behavioural manifestations and neural basis. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 18(8), 498–509. [Link]
Hawk, S. T., Keijsers, L., Branje, S. J., Graaff, J. V., Wied, M., and Meeus, W. (2013). Examining the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) among early and late adolescents and their mothers. J. Pers. Assess. 95: 96–106. [Link]
Jolliffe, D., and Farrington, D. P. (2006). Examining the relationship between low empathy in bullying. Aggress. Behav. 32: 540–550. [Link]
Kline, R. B. (2016). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (4th Ed.), New York: The Guilford Press. [Link]
Lin, X., Chen, H., Tan, Y., Yang, X., Chi, P.(2021). The Empathy Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents (EmQue-CA) in Chinese: Psychometric Properties and Measurement Invariance, Asian Journal of Psychiatry. 63,102775. [Link]
Lin, S., Keysar, B., and Epley, N. (2010). Reflexively mindblind: using theory of mind to interpret behavior requires effortful attention. J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 46: 551–556. [Link]
MacDonald, H.Z., Price, J.L. (2019). The role of emotion regulation in the relationship between empathy and internalizing symptoms in college students. Mental Health & Prevention, 13, 43-49. [Link]
Netten, A. P., Rieffe, C., Theunissen, S. C., Soede, W., Dirks, E., Briaire, J. J., & Frijns, J. H. (2015). Low empathy in deaf and hard of hearing (pre) adolescents compared to normal hearing controls. PloS one. 10(4), e0124102. [Link]
Overgaauw, S., Rieffe, C., Broekhof, E., Crone, E. A., & Güroğlu, B. (2017). Assessing empathy across childhood and adolescence: Validation of the Empathy Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents (EmQue-CA). Frontiers in Psychology. 8, 870. [Link]
Pascual-Sagastizabal, E., Del Puerto, N., Cardas, J., Sanchez-Martin, J.R., Vergara, A.I., Azurmendi, A. (2019). Testosterone and cortisol modulate the effects of empathy on aggression in children. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 103:118-124. [Link]
Rieffe, C., Ketelaar, L., & Wiefferink, C. H. (2010). Assessing empathy in young children: Construction and validation of an Empathy Questionnaire (EmQue). Personality and Individual Differences. 49(5), 362-367. [Link]
Rothbart, M. K., Ahadi, S. A., & Hershey, K. L. (1994). Temperament and social behavior in childhood. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. 40(1): 21-39. [Link]
Segura, L., Estévez, J.F., Estévez, E.(2020). Empathy and Emotional Intelligence in Adolescent Cyberaggressors and Cybervictims. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 17(13):4681. [Link]
Spataro,P., Calabrò, M., Longobardi, E. (2020) Prosocial behaviour mediates the relation between empathy and aggression in primary school children. European Journal of Developmental Psychology. 17:5: 727-745. [Link]
Spivak, B., Batagol, B., Sifris, A., & Williams, B. (2018). Measuring empathy in undergraduate law students: Examining the factorial validity of the Jefferson Scale of Empathy – Law Students (JSE-LS). International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 58: 143-149. [Link]
Van den Bedem, N.P., Willems, D., Dockrell, J.E., van Alphen, P.M., Rieffe, C.(2019).  Interrelation between empathy and friendship development during (pre)adolescence and the moderating effect of developmental language disorder: A longitudinal study. Soc. Dev. 28: 599–619. [Link]
van Vliet, M., Jong, M., Jong, M.C.(2017). Long-term benefits by a mind-body medicine skills course on perceived stress and empathy among medical and nursing students. Med Teach. 39(7):710-9. [Link]
Vossen, H. G. M., Piotrowski, J. T., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2015). Development and validation of the Adolescent Measure of Empathy and Sympathy (AMES). Personality and Individual Differences. 74: 66-71. [Link]
Xiao, W., Lin, X., Li, X., Xu, X., Guo, H., Sun, B., & Jiang, H. (2021). The Influence of Emotion and Empathy on Decisions to Help Others. SAGE Open11(2), 21582440211014513. [Link]
Zhao, X., Li, X., Song, Y., and Shi, W. (2018). Autistic traits and prosocial behaviour in the general population: test of the mediating effects of trait empathy and state empathic concern. J. Autism Dev. Disord. 1–14. [Link]