Get access

The Kids' Empathic Development Scale (KEDS): A multi-dimensional measure of empathy in primary school-aged children

Authors

  • Corinne Reid,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia
    2. Murdoch University, Western Australia, Australia
    • Neurocognitive Development Unit, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Helen Davis,

    1. Murdoch University, Western Australia, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Chiara Horlin,

    1. Neurocognitive Development Unit, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mike Anderson,

    1. Neurocognitive Development Unit, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia
    2. University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Natalie Baughman,

    1. Neurocognitive Development Unit, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Catherine Campbell

    1. Neurocognitive Development Unit, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia
    2. University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia
    3. Centre for Neonatal Research and Education, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Corinne Reid, Neurocognitive Development Unit, M304, School of Psychology, The University of Western Australia, WA 6009, Australia (e-mail: Corinne.Reid@uwa.edu.au).

Abstract

Empathy is an essential building block for successful interpersonal relationships. Atypical empathic development is implicated in a range of developmental psychopathologies. However, assessment of empathy in children is constrained by a lack of suitable measurement instruments. This article outlines the development of the Kids' Empathic Development Scale (KEDS) designed to assess some of the core affective, cognitive and behavioural components of empathy concurrently. The KEDS assesses responses to picture scenarios depicting a range of individual and interpersonal situations differing in social complexity. Results from 220 children indicate the KEDS measures three related but distinct aspects of empathy that are also related to existing measures of empathy and cognitive development. Scores on the KEDS show age and some gender-related differences in the expected direction.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary