Empatisk nog för socionomexamen, eller? : En studie om socionomstudenters empatiska förmåga och dess utveckling under utbildningstiden
This quantitative study, with qualitative elements, intended to investigate the empathic ability among students and its change during social work education in Sweden. The study used a self-assessment form in the form of a questionnaire sent out to 8 of the 15 universities around the country. Respondents who participated in the survey studied in semester 1 & 2 and semester 6 & 7. The instrument which were used, measure the empathy level of the respondents and was a Swedish translation of the instrument, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) which is a proven self-assessment form. IRI consists of 28 questions divided into 4 areas (subscales), which together provide a score, where a higher score corresponds to a greater capacity for empathy. At the end of the survey respondents were given the opportunity to specify which training elements that they consider has affected their empathic ability. The quantitative empirical data showed a marginal rise in the empathic ability of the latter term group but this is not statistically secured and the difference is so small that in practice it would not mean any difference. Because of the non-significant associations, no conclusions could be drawn on whether the training has any effect on students' empathy on the basis of the study's quantitative empiricism. The quantitative empirical data indicated a significant relationship between empathy and age, as well as empathy and gender. The younger respondents tend to have a higher empathy than the older. Women received a higher score concerning empathy than men. The qualitative empirical data indicated that the students themselves believe they have increased their empathic ability during education. The study involved 168 respondents.
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