Latent Structure of the Davis Interpersonal Reactivity Index in Methadone Maintenance Patients

  • Arthur I. AltermanEmail author
  • Paul A. McDermott
  • John S. Cacciola
  • Megan J. Rutherford


The latent structure of Davis's 28-item Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) measure of empathy was examined in 241 methadone maintenance (MM) patients using factor analytic procedures and the divergent and convergent reliability of the derived structure was determined. Contrary to the four-factor structure determined for the IRI previously, three factors, comprised of 18 items, were found to best represent the construct of empathy in MM patients—an Empathy factor (nine items) combining the Empathic Concern and Perspective Taking factors originally described by Davis, and Fantasy (four items) and Personal Distress (five) factors. Canonical correlation analysis undertaken to determine concurrent validity of the IRI's revealed latent structure supported the validity of the derived Empathy factor as a measure of empathy, but indicated that Personal Distress appeared to be associated with neuroticism. These findings are consistent with more recent factor analytic and validity findings for the IRI.

empathy Interpersonal Reactivity Index latent structure substance abusers 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderberg, M. R. (1973). Cluster analysis for applications. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. Batson, C. D., Ahmad, N., Lishner, D. A., & Tsang, J.-A. (2002). Empathy and Altruism. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez, (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (Ch. 35, pp. 485-498) New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bell, M. D., Billington, R., & Becker, B. (1986). A scale for the assessment of object relations: Reliability, validity, and factorial invariance. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 42, 733-741.Google Scholar
  4. Bentler, P. M., & Wu, E. J. C. (2002). EQS6 for Windows. Encino, CA: Multivariate Software.Google Scholar
  5. Buja, A., & Eyuboglu, N. (1992). Remarks on parallel analysis. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 27, 509-540.Google Scholar
  6. Burke, D. M. (2001). Empathy in sexually offending and nonoffending adolescent males. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 16(3), 222-233.Google Scholar
  7. Buss A. H, Durkee, A. (1957). An inventory for assessing different kinds of hostility. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 31, 343-349.Google Scholar
  8. Byrne, B. M. (1994). Structural equation modeling with EQS and EQS/Windows: Basic concepts, applications, and programming. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Carey, J. C., Fox, E. A., & Spraggins, E. F. (1988). Replication of structure findings regarding the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 21, 102-105.Google Scholar
  10. Cattell, R. B. (1966). The scree test for the number of factors. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 1, 245-276.Google Scholar
  11. Christie, R., & Geis, F. (1970). Studies in machiavellianism. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  12. Cliffordson, C. (2001). Parents' judgments and students' self-judgments of empathy. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 17, 36-47.Google Scholar
  13. Davis, M. H. (1980). A multidimensional approach to individual differences in empathy. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology 10, 85.Google Scholar
  14. Davis, M. H. (1983a). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multi-dimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 113-126.Google Scholar
  15. Davis, M. H. (1983b). Empathic concern and the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 9, 223-229.Google Scholar
  16. Davis, M. H. (1983c). The effects of dispositional empathy on emotional reactions and helping: A multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality, 51, 167-184.Google Scholar
  17. Davis, M. H. (1996). Empathy: A social psychological approach. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  18. Eysenck, H. J. (1988). Eysenck personality questionnaire-revised. San Diego, CA: Educational and Industrial Testing Services.Google Scholar
  19. Fabrigar, L. R., Wegener, D. T., MacCallum, R. C., & Strahan, E. J. (1999). Evaluating the use of exploratory factor analysis in psychological research. Psychological Methods, 4, 272-299.Google Scholar
  20. First, M. B., Spitzer, R. L., Gibbon, M., & Williams, J. (1994). Structured clinical interview for axis I DSM-IV disorders. New York: Biometrics Research Department.Google Scholar
  21. Franzoi, S. L., Davis, M. H., & Yong, R. D. (1985). The effects of private self-consciousness and perspective taking on satisfaction in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 1584-1594.Google Scholar
  22. Geweke, J. F., & Singleton, K. I. (1980). Interpreting the likelihood of ratio statistic in factor models when sample size is small. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 75, 133-137.Google Scholar
  23. Gorsuch, R. L. (1983). Factor analysis, (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  24. Gough, H. G. (1987). The California Psychological Inventory, administrator's guide. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Pressy.Google Scholar
  25. Gough, H. G., & Bradley, P. (1996). The California Psychological Inventory Manual (3rd ed.) Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  26. Guadagnoli, E., & Velicer, W. (1988). Relations of sample size to the stability of component patterns. Psychological Bulletin, 103, 265-275.Google Scholar
  27. Hare, R. D. (1991). The Revised Psychopathy Checklist. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  28. Hare, R. D., Harpur, R. J., Hakstian, A. R., Forth, A. E., Hart, S. D., & Newman, J. P. (1990). The Revised Psychopathy Checklist: Reliability and factor structure. Psychological Assessment, 2, 338-341.Google Scholar
  29. Harman, H. H. (1976). Modern factor analysis (3rd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  30. Hogan, R. (1969). Development of an empathy scale. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 33, 307-316.Google Scholar
  31. Ireland, J. L. (1999). Provictim attitudes and empathy in relation to bullying behaviour among prisoners. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 4, 51-66.Google Scholar
  32. Kadden, R. M., Cooney, N. L., Getter, H., & Litt, M. D. (1989). Matching alcoholics to coping skills or interactional therapies: Postreatment results. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 698-704.Google Scholar
  33. Litvack-Miller, W., McDougall, D., & Romney, D. M. (1997). The structure of empathy during middle childhood and its relationship to prosocial behavior. Genetic, Social and General Psychology Monographs, 123, 303-324.Google Scholar
  34. Loranger, A., Susman, V. L., & Oldham, J. M. (1988). The Personality Disorder Examination Manual (PDE). Yonkers, NY: DV Communications.Google Scholar
  35. McLellan, A. T., Luborsky, L., Woody, G. E., & O'Brien, C. P. (1980). An improved diagnostic evaluation instrument for substance abuse patients. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 168, 26-33.Google Scholar
  36. Mehrabian, A. & Epstein, N. A. (1972). A measure of emotional empathy. Journal of Personality, 40, 525-543.Google Scholar
  37. Montanelli, R. G., Jr., & Humphreys, L. G. (1976). Latent roots of random data correlation matrices with squared multiple correlations on the diagonal: A Monte Carlo study. Psychometrika, 41, 341-347.Google Scholar
  38. Moreno, J. K., Fuhriman, A., & Selby, M. J. (1993). Measurement of hostility, anger, and depression in depressed and nondepressed subjects. Journal of Personality Assessment, 61, 511-523.Google Scholar
  39. Riggio, E., Tucker, J., & Coffaro, D. (1989). Social skills and empathy. Personality and Individual Differences, 10, 93-99.Google Scholar
  40. Seligman, M. E. P. & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5-14.Google Scholar
  41. Sher, K., Bartholow, B. D., & Wood, M. D. (2000). Personality and substance use disorders: A prospective study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 818-829.Google Scholar
  42. Snook, S. C., & Gorsuch, R. L. (1989). Component analysis versus common factor analysis: A Monte Carlo study. Psychological Bulletin, 106, 148-154.Google Scholar
  43. Snyder, C. R., & Lopez, S. J. (Eds.). (2002). Handbook of positive psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Spector, P. E. (1992). Summated scale construction: An introduction. Newbury Park, VA: Sage.Google Scholar
  45. Spitzer, R. L., & Williams, J. B. (1987). Structured clinical interview for DSM-III-R. New York: Biometrics Research Department, New York State Psychiatric Institute.Google Scholar
  46. Thorndike, R. L. (1982). Applied psychometrics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  47. Velicer, W. F., Govia, J. M., Cherico, N. P, & Corriveau, D. P. (1985). Item format and the structure of the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory. Aggressive Behaviour, 11, 65-82.Google Scholar
  48. Wainer, H. (1976). Estimating coefficients in linear models: It don't make no nevermind. Psychological Bulletin, 83, 213-217.Google Scholar
  49. Widiger, T., Cadoret, R., Hare, R., Robins, L., Rutherford, M. J., Zanarini, M., et al. (1996). Antisocial personality disorder field trial. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 105, 3-16.Google Scholar
  50. Williams, J. B., Gibbon, M., First, M. B., Spitzer, R. L., Davies, M., Borus, J., et al. (1992). The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID) II: Multi-site test–retest reliability. Archives of General Psychiatry, 49, 630-636.Google Scholar
  51. Wise, P. S., & Cramer, S. H. (1988). Correlates of empathy and cognitive style in adolescence. Psychological Report, 63, 179-192.Google Scholar
  52. Wood, J. M., Tataryn, D. J., & Gorsuch, R. L. (1996). Effects of under-and overextraction on principal axis factor analysis with varimax rotation. Psychological Methods, 1, 354-365.Google Scholar
  53. Yates, A. (1987). Multivariate exploratory data analysis: A perspective on exploratory factor analysis. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur I. Alterman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul A. McDermott
    • 2
  • John S. Cacciola
    • 1
    • 3
  • Megan J. Rutherford
    • 4
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia
  2. 2.Graduate School of EducationUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia
  3. 3.VA Medical CenterPhiladelphia
  4. 4.Alcohol and Drug Abuse InstituteUniversity of WashingtonSeattle

Personalised recommendations