A Proposed Mediated Path between Gender and Posttraumatic Growth: The Roles of Empathy and Social Support in a Mixed-Age Sample


Social support coping has been shown to mediate the relationship between gender and posttraumatic growth. This study examined whether empathy also serves as a significant mediator in this relationship, potentially as a precursor to social support coping. Participants (N = 156) were recruited on a college campus and at a retirement community. They completed questionnaires that assessed the variables of interest and they provided information regarding a stressful life event. Single-mediator path analytic models indicated that both empathy and social support were significant mediators. The full multiplicative mediational path from gender to empathy to support to growth was significant, but this finding was largely driven by the strong mediational effect of empathy. These findings suggest that although both empathy and social support coping are significant mediators in the relationship between gender and stress related growth, of the two constructs, empathy appears to exert a stronger mediational effect.

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Swickert, R. , Hittner, J. & Foster, A. (2012). A Proposed Mediated Path between Gender and Posttraumatic Growth: The Roles of Empathy and Social Support in a Mixed-Age Sample. Psychology, 3, 1142-1147. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.312A168.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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