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Association between Level of Empathy, Attitude towards Physical Education and Victimization in Adolescents: A Multi-Group Structural Equation Analysis

Department of Specific Didactics and Methods of Research and Diagnosis in Education, University of Coruña, 15001 Coruña, Spain
Department of Didactics of Musical, Plastic and Corporal Expression, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2360;
Received: 9 May 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 3 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Healthy Lifestyle)
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Currently, there is a problem related to violence and tolerance towards violence, and the levels of empathy of the subjects can affect this, in addition to the practice of physical activity. The present study sought to define and contrast an explanatory model of victimization, empathy and attitude towards physical education, and to analyze the existing relationships between these variables as a function of engagement with physical activity. A total of 2388 adolescents from Spain participated in this research. The sample was made up of both sexes (43.39% males and 56.61% females), with ages reported between 11 and 17 years (M = 13.85; SD = 1.26). Empathy (TECA), attitude towards physical education (CAEF) and victimization (EV) were measured. A multi-group structural equation model was developed, which showed excellent fit to the empirical data (χ2 = 559.577; DF = 38; p < 0.001; comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.957; normalized fit index (NFI) = 0.954; incremental fit index (IFI) = 0.957; root mean squared error of the mean (RMSEA) = 0.054). A direct positive relationship exists between affective and cognitive empathy. A positive association was found between motivational climate and engagement in physical activity. With regards to victimization, the verbal dimension obtained the highest correlation score, followed by the relational and physical dimensions. In the case of adolescents who regularly engaged in physical activity, the verbal and physical dimensions presented the weakest correlations, whilst the relational dimension was the most strongly associated in the case of sedentary adolescents. The main conclusions of the present study it is that the relationship between affective empathy and cognitive empathy is positive and direct, however, this relationship is slightly stronger and differentiated in sedentary adolescents than in those who practice physical activity on a regular basis. View Full-Text
Keywords: victimization; empathy; physical education; adolescent; physical activity victimization; empathy; physical education; adolescent; physical activity

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Arufe-Giráldez, V.; Zurita-Ortega, F.; Padial-Ruz, R.; Castro-Sánchez, M. Association between Level of Empathy, Attitude towards Physical Education and Victimization in Adolescents: A Multi-Group Structural Equation Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2360.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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