Eloisa Nathania1, Kindah Mahdiyyah1, Kamila Ratu Chaidir1, Yudi Reza Phalapi1, Tjhin Wiguna2
1Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.
2Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Introduction: Empathy is an essential attribute for coping in society. Empathy can be exhibited in the form of good prosocial behavior management and the ability to build peer relationships and regulate emotions. One of the most serious mental health problems is the antisocial behavior that arises from a lack of empathy. The study aimed to elaborate the association between empathy quotient and prosocial behavior, peer relationship and emotional problems among elementary schoolchildren. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that included 620 parents and their children, and it was performed using an online questionnaire. The study used the Empathy Quotient-Children/Systemizing Quotient-Children Questionnaires and the strength and difficulties questionnaire, in which the Indonesian versions have been validated. The inclusion criteria were that the parents had a minimum educational background of junior high school level and had a child attending elementary school. The Chi-square analysis was done through the SPSS for Mac software, version 21. Results: The children ranged in age from 4 to 14 years. The study found that a lack of empathy was associated with emotional problems and problems with peer relations (P < 0.05). However, the relationship between empathy and prosocial behavior showed no statistically significant relationship (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Children require good empathy to properly function in their daily lives. Therefore, it is necessary to create and foster an educational environment that supports the development of empathy.
Keywords: Elementary schoolchildren, empathy, emotional problem, peer relation, prosocial behavior.