Influence of Development and Demographics On Empathy In Traditional and Non-Traditional Nursing Students

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

Willie Lee Pierce

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


The general purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among the criterion variable of trait empathy level, and the independent variables of development and demographic characteristics. An additional purpose was to determine the extent of difference between traditional/non-traditional nursing students on empathy levels and the model variables. Independent variables of development included were marital status, number of children, recent marriage, divorce, separation, or engagement, recent birth of child, student status, degrees other than nursing, career goals, employment during program, employment prior to program, person responsible for financial support, other financial support, future financial plans, participation in community activities, experience with loss of significant person, and recent move of residence. The independent variables of demographic characteristics included gender, ethnicity, years since last formal education, type of program, time in program, educational achievement, first career, family income, and description of area of formative years. During the 1992 fall semester 210 generic nursing students participated in this correlational research study. The subjects completed a descriptive data form and the Hogan Empathy Scale. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed no statistically significant relationship between the criterion variable and any of the independent variables. Recommendations for further research are presented.