Empathy, social responsibility, and civic behavior among Irish adolescents: A socio-contextual approach
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Silke, Charlotte, Brady, Bernadine, Boylan, Ciara, & Dolan, Pat. (2020). Empathy, Social Responsibility, and Civic Behavior Among Irish Adolescents: A Socio-Contextual Approach. The Journal of Early Adolescence. doi:10.1177/0272431620977658
Research suggests that empathy and positive social values are important drivers of youth prosocial and civic action. However, theory and research indicate that young people’s civic behaviors are also shaped by their socio-contextual experiences. Drawing on a sample of 533 adolescents from public secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland, this research employed structural equation modeling to examine whether youth’s (cognitive and affective) empathy and social responsibility values mediated the relationship between youth’s social (parents, peers, school, and community) contexts and their civic behavior. Results suggest that youth’s cognitive empathy and social responsibility values appear to mediate the relationship between a number of social-contextual experiences and youth’s civic behavior. Overall, the findings from this research have important implications for research and practice.