Dysfunctional parenting styles, empathy and socio-demographic variables in nursing, human medicine and psychology students
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© 2019, Universidad Catolica de Colombia. All rights reserved. The objective of this study was to establish the relationship between dysfunctional parenting styles and empathy in Nursing, Human Medicine and Psychology students. The study’s sample consisted of 599 students, from both genders, and from different cycles of their university studies. Their ages ranged between 21 and 25 years. To assess them, the Dysfunctional Parenting Styles Scale by Parker, et al. (1979) was used, previously adapted to Peruvian population. The participants were also evaluated with the Personal and Professional Empathy Scale designed by Yaraskavitch (2009), and completed a socio-demographic data sheet created ad hoc. General results showed no significant relationships between the dysfunctional parenting styles and empathy total scores. In contrast, considering the father figure, an inverse relationship between the authoritarian-controlling dysfunctional parenting style and the personal and professional cognitive empathy was found, while the indifference – negligence dysfunctional parenting style was inversely associated with the emotive personal empathy. As to the mother figure, there is a significant and direct relationship between authoritarian-controlling dysfunctional parenting style and personal and professional emotive empathy. It was also found that regarding gender, women have higher levels of empathy. With respect to professional degree courses, Nursing students have a higher level of empathy than Medicine and Psychology students, while Medicine students have more dysfunctional parenting styles than the Nursing and Psychology groups. Finally, students that had taken personal development courses showed a higher level of empathy.