Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 499–510 | Cite as

The Basic Empathy Scale: A Chinese Validation of a Measure of Empathy in Adolescents

  • Yaoguo GengEmail author
  • Dan Xia
  • Beibei Qin
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Chinese version of the Basic Empathy Scale (BES). The Chinese version of BES was administered to a sample (n = 1,524) aged 9–18 and 65 males with conduct disorder aged 13–18. The result of confirmatory factor analysis showed a two-factor structure with four items deleted to be the most adequate model (cognitive empathy, affective empathy). Empathy was positively correlated with a measure of prosocial behaviour and a measure of emotional problems. Boys with conduct disorder scored significantly lower than matched participants on cognitive empathy. Moreover, in line with previous researches, girls were found to score significantly higher on empathy than boys and the scores on both cognitive and affective empathy increased with age. The Chinese revision exhibited satisfactory internal consistency and moderate test–retest reliability.


Empathy Validation Chinese adolescents 



We would like to thank all the participants for their support, especially thank Darrick Jolliffe, who gave permission to revise his scale and offered assistance in modifying article. This work was supported by a grant from Humanities and Social Sciences Project of Ministry of Education of China (Project No: 11YJA190005).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationZhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina

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