Associations Among Empathy, Social Competence, & Reactive/Proactive Aggression Subtypes

  • Megan L. MayberryEmail author
  • Dorothy L. Espelage
Original Paper


Differences between proactive and reactive aggression subtypes on self-reported measures of empathy, social competence, and expectation for reward were examined among 433 middle school students (65.4% White, 33.9% Black). As hypothesized, males scored higher on proactive and reactive aggression scales and lower on empathy measures than females. K-means cluster analysis yielded the following four distinct groups: reactive, proactive, proactive/reactive aggressive, and uninvolved. Overall, uninvolved (nonaggressive youth) had higher empathy and social competence scores and lower expectation of reward for the use of aggression. The reactive and proactive groups did not differ significantly on study variables. Limitations and implications are discussed.


Adolescence Aggression Proactive Reactive Empthy Social competence Expectation for reward 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  2. 2.University of IllinoisChampaignUSA

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