Personality and social psychology bulletin vol:33 issue:3 pages:299-311
This study proposed and tested an integrated model of the intergenerational transmission of empathy-related responding in adolescence. This model included maternal support as a mediator of the intergenerational transmission of empathy and examined friendship quality as an outcome of adolescent empathy. In a sample of middle adolescents and their mothers (N = 177), maternal support significantly predicted the empathy dimensions perspective taking and sympathy and mediated the mother-child concordance of perspective taking but not sympathy. Adolescent empathy (and perspective taking in particular) predicted adolescent friendship quality and served as an intervening variable in the relation between maternal support and friendship quality. Implications of the present study for research on the socialization of empathy-related responding and social adjustment in general are outlined.