Association between Level of Empathy, Attitude towards Physical Education and Victimization in Adolescents: A Multi-Group Structural Equation Analysis
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VictimizationPhysical educationEmpathyPhysical activityAdolescents
Arufe-Giráldez, V., Zurita-Ortega, F., Padial-Ruz, R., & Castro-Sánchez, M. (2019). Association between level of empathy, attitude towards physical education and victimization in adolescents: a multi-group structural equation analysis. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(13), 2360.
Currently, there is a problem related to violence and tolerance towards violence, and the levels of empathy of the subjects can affect this, in addition to the practice of physical activity. The present study sought to define and contrast an explanatory model of victimization, empathy and attitude towards physical education, and to analyze the existing relationships between these variables as a function of engagement with physical activity. A total of 2388 adolescents from Spain participated in this research. The sample was made up of both sexes (43.39% males and 56.61% females), with ages reported between 11 and 17 years (M = 13.85; SD = 1.26). Empathy (TECA), attitude towards physical education (CAEF) and victimization (EV) were measured. A multi-group structural equation model was developed, which showed excellent fit to the empirical data (X2 = 559.577; DF = 38; p < 0.001; comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.957; normalized fit index (NFI) = 0.954; incremental fit index (IFI) = 0.957; root mean squared error of the mean (RMSEA) = 0.054). A direct positive relationship exists between affective and cognitive empathy. A positive association was found between motivational climate and engagement in physical activity. With regards to victimization, the verbal dimension obtained the highest correlation score, followed by the relational and physical dimensions. In the case of adolescents who regularly engaged in physical activity, the verbal and physical dimensions presented the weakest correlations, whilst the relational dimension was the most strongly associated in the case of sedentary adolescents. The main conclusions of the present study it is that the relationship between affective empathy and cognitive empathy is positive and direct, however, this relationship is slightly stronger and differentiated in sedentary adolescents than in those who practice physical activity on a regular basis.