Developing A Chinese Version of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index for Parents in Hong Kong

Proceedings of The 4th International Academic Conference on Education

Year: 2021


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Developing A Chinese Version of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index for Parents in Hong Kong

Raymond W.M. Chan, Man Tak Yuen, Cheng Yong Tan



Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) is one of the commonly used self-report scales to measure empathy. Davis (1980) reported a four-factor structure in empathy in developing this scale, including empathic concern, perspective taking, personal distress, and fantasy. Empirical studies among different populations with Western culture provided solid and stable support to this four-component scale, for example, among French adults (Gilet et al., 2013); American adults (Chrysikou & Thompson, 2016); Belgium college students (Braun et al., 2015); Dutch adolescents (Hawk et al., 2013); and Chile college students (Fernández et al., 2011). Although IRI is a popular instrument for measuring parental empathy in most studies, exploring its factor structure among parents as a sample is quite rare. Moreover, among Chinese populations, the number of factors in its structure is not stable. For example, confirmatory factor analyses revealed a hierarchical four-factor model among Chinese teachers of both primary and middle schools (Huang et al., 2012); among patients with schizophrenia in Taiwan (Chiang et al., 2014); but a bi-factor model among Chinese students in Mainland China (Wang et al., 2020), and a three-factor model, where a new component, namely empathy scale, is a combination of both emotional and cognitive aspects of empathy among Chinese students in Hong Kong (Siu & Shek, 2005). Further investigation on its factor structure by developing a Chinese version with Chinese parents as samples to fill up this research gap is deemed necessary.

keywords: empathy; factor structure; Interpersonal Reactivity Index; parental empathy.