Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2018 Jan-Feb;47(1):24-37. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2017.1295383. Epub 2017 Mar 20.

The Cognitive, Affective, and Somatic Empathy Scales (CASES) for Children.

Author information

a Departments of Criminology, Psychiatry, and Psychology , University of Pennsylvania.
b Departments of Criminal Justice and Criminology , Georgia State University.

Erratum in


Although the assessment of empathy has moved from general empathy to differentiating between cognitive and affective empathy, no instruments have assessed somatic (motor) empathy, and none have separated positive from negative affect empathy. The main objective of this study was to develop a 30-item self-report cognitive, affective, and somatic empathy scale (CASES) with positive and negative affect components for use with children and adolescents. A community sample of 428 male and female 11-year-olds completed the CASES together with validity questionnaires and were assessed on IQ. Caregivers reported on callous-unemotional traits, behavior problems, social adversity, and paternal criminality. Confirmatory factor analysis provided support for a 3-factor cognitive-affective-somatic structure of CASES and support for a broader 6-factor model of empathy. Configural and metric factor invariance across genders was established. Good internal consistency was obtained for the main scales. Criterion validity was established by lower empathy in callous-unemotional children. Incremental and predictive validity was documented by empathy at baseline predicting 12 months later to callous-unemotional traits after controlling for baseline callous-unemotional traits. Discriminant validity was documented by empathy being unrelated to internalizing behavior problems and differentially related to proactive and reactive forms of aggression. Construct validity was documented by lower empathy being associated with lower IQ, being male, more externalizing behavior problems, and criminality in the biological parent. Results provide initial support for a brief but multidimensional empathy scale with good sampling and face validity that can be used with children and adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center