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(Yildiz 2013)

Article/Study Title:  Improving Empathy and Communication Skills of Visually Impaired Early Adolescents through a Psychoeducation Program

DOI or Website Link:  DOI: 10.12738/estp.2013.3.1607

Publication: Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice

Authors:   Mehmet Ali YILDIZ &  Baki DUY

Date:   2013


Citation: Yildiz, M. A., & Duy, B. (2013).  Improving empathy and communication skills of visually impaired early adolescents through a psychoeducation program. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 13(3), 1470-1476.

Abstract:   Cut and pasted:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an interpersonal communication skills psychoeducation program to improve empathy and communication skills of visually impaired adolescents. Participants of the study were sixteen early adolescents schooling in an elementary school for visually impaired youth in Diyarbakır. The study has a factorial design having two groups (treatment and control) and three measures (pre-test, post-test and follow-up test). Empathy levels of the participants were measured by KA-Sİ Empathic Tendency Scale for Children and Adolescents, and communication skills were measured by Communication Skills Evaluation Scale. While the participants in treatment group were exposed to interpersonal communication skills training for nine sessions, members of the control group did not receive any treatment. After the completion of group sessions, post-test measures were obtained. Data were analysed by mixed between-within subjects analysis of variance. Analysis indicated effectiveness of the psycho-education program in increasing empathy levels and communication skills of the visually impaired adolescents.

Topic Area:
 (In which field / sector / perspective was this study conducted?)

(How was empathy defined?)

An ability to understand the other person in interpersonal relationships and interactions; "get into one’s inner world and be there in a deeper level." Two components; emotional and cognitive. "While the cognitive component is about understanding other person’s thoughts by getting into his/her role, the emotional component is about understanding his/her emotions as much as they are felt by the other person (D.kmen, 2005). Blair (2005) added a third component; motor empathy described as mirroring the motor responses of the other person."

(Were any benefits of empathy mentioned?)

"Increasing empathic skills may increase one’s wellbeing and foster better relations in the society. In every aspect of daily life, empathic understanding gets people closer to each other and eases interpersonal communication."

 (What were the methods used to train empathy?)  Cut and pasted:
  • This study is a quasi-experimental study by which the effectiveness of a psycho-educational program mainly focused on improving interpersonal communication skills on empathic tendency and communication skills of early adolescents with visual impairment is investigated. It has a 2x3 splitplot design. The psycho-education program and groups are the independent variables of the study, while empathic tendency and communication skills levels of the participants are the dependent variables. 
  • The measures of the study were answered by the participants in three times: at the onset of the group sessions, at the end of the sessions and four months after the closure of the sessions.
  • The psychoeducation group was comprised of nine structured sessions. The group sessions were run by the first author under the supervision of the second author. Even though information giving was heavily used, some experiential activities were also included in the sessions. Purposes of the psychoeducation program were as follows; having the basic knowledge of interpersonal communication, comprehending the consequences of ineffective listening and active listening, noticing destructive and healthy communication styles, becoming aware of his/her own communication style, noticing and disputing the dysfunctional attitudes that prevent from self-disclosure, using proper self-disclosure, using more I-messages, increasing empathic skills, understanding that people may attribute different meanings to an event, and thus, produce different emotional responses.   Authors of the study benefited from several references in the preparation of the psycho-education program (Akk.k, 200; Beck, 2001; Cüceloğlu, 1995; D.kmen, 2005; Greenberger & Padesky, 2012; Kaya, 2010; Korkut, 2004; McKay, Davis, & Fanning, 2010; O’Donohue & Krasner, 1995; .zer, 2006; Türk.apar, 2008; Voltan Acar, 2002, 2010).
Target Group:  
(Who participated in this study / training?)

The participants were 16 early adolescents attending to 6th, 7th and 8th grade at a school for visually impaired children and youth. Of them were 10 boys and 6 girls with the mean age of 13,5.

About the assessment: How was the change in empathy measured before/after the intervention/method?) 

Child and Adolescent KA-Sİ Empathic Tendency Scale: The scale was developed by Kaya and Siyez (2010) to measure empathic tendency in children and adolescents.

The Communication Skills Scale: It was developed by Korkut (1996) to assess communication skills of adolescents.

(What was the result?)

The psycho-education program was effective on improving the empathic tendency and communication skills of the subjects in the treatment group. However, the effectiveness of the program did not reach to a level to differentiate the two groups.

Posted By:  
 Dorothy Della Noce


(Any other relevant information)


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