Dyadic empathy in Polish samples: validation of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index for Couples
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Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Institute of Psychology, University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland
Submission date: 2020-12-07
Final revision date: 2021-01-18
Acceptance date: 2021-01-19
Online publication date: 2021-02-12
Publication date: 2021-12-01
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2021;9(4):354–365
Empathy as a multidimensional construct is considered a basis of satisfying intimate relationships. The role of other-oriented focus in empathizing with a partner has been highlighted. The Interpersonal Reactivity Index for Couples (IRIC) measures emo-tional and cognitive empathy displayed in the context of a romantic relationship and expressed towards the partner.

Participants and procedure:
A total sample of 2339 individuals in intimate relationships (including 1006 couples) participated in the research. Three studies are presented on adaptation of the IRIC to Polish in the context of participants’ emotional and relational functioning.

The two-factor structure of the measure was confirmed. However, the specific content of two factors was modified to better fit the data. A reliable and valid measure of empathic tendencies in couples has been obtained. Emotional dyadic empathic concern and cognitive dyadic perspective taking were associated with general emotional and cognitive empathy as well as with relation-ship satisfaction. Correlations with emotional contagion, stress and attachment were also explored.

The IRIC is a short, reliable and valid measure of empathic tendencies in couples to be easily implemented in research and prac-tice. Personal traits of both partners should be seen as predictors or correlates of dyadic empathy. The presented research results might be applied to the design of interventions and programs increasing quality of romantic relationships.

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