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The communication of empathy in couples during the transition to parenthood

Pistrang, N; Picciotto, A; Barker, C; (2001) The communication of empathy in couples during the transition to parenthood. J COMMUNITY PSYCHOL , 29 (6) 615 - 636.

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Abstract

This study examined how empathy is communicated and experienced in the helping interactions of couples expecting their first baby. Eighteen couples took part in a semistructured communication task, and then, in a tape-assisted recall session, identified helper responses that were high and low in empathy. Qualitative data analysis yielded five themes characterizing high empathy responses-checking out or exploring meaning, acknowledging the concern, articulating meaning or summarizing, offering solutions, and a mutual experience-and five themes characterizing low empathy responses-missing the point, dismissing the concern, offering solutions, redirecting the conversation and persuading. The findings suggest both similarities and differences between the communication of empathy in this population and existing theoretical conceptions of empathy in psychological therapy. Implications for Preventive interventions for couples are discussed. (C) 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Type: Article
Title: The communication of empathy in couples during the transition to parenthood
Keywords: BREAST-CANCER, HELPING PROCESS, SOCIAL SUPPORT, SELF-DISCLOSURE, EVENTS, PSYCHOTHERAPY, PSYCHOLOGY, PARTNERS, THERAPY, RECALL
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2508
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