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News Archives

Root Of Teenage Empathy Begins With Secure Home Relationships (New Study)

Friday July 16th, 2021

By : Sarah Molano
Source : CNN

Teenagers who have close, secure relationships with their families are more likely to extend empathy to their peers, according to a new study.

More specifically, when teens feel safe, supported by and connected to parents or other adult caregivers, they are better equipped to pass the empathy they receive on to others.

"I don't think teens in particular like being told what to do, and I don't think it's going to work to tell teens they should empathize with other people," said Jessica Stern, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychology at the University of Virginia. "But what does work is showing them empathy, and they can pay it forward to the people in their lives."

Stern's work revolves around how having secure relationships contributes to prosocial behavior, or behavior driven by the intent to benefit others.

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