Skip to main content

Caring Helps: Trait Empathy is Related to Better Coping Strategies and Differs in the Poor vs the Rich.

Sun, R., Vuillier, L., Hui, B. and Kogan, A., 2019. Caring Helps: Trait Empathy is Related to Better Coping Strategies and Differs in the Poor vs the Rich. PLoS One, 14 (3), e0213142.

Full text available as:

journal.pone.0213142.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213142


Coping has been extensively studied in health psychology; however, factors influencing the usage of different coping strategies have received limited attention. In five studies (N = 3702), we explored the relationship between trait empathy and coping strategies, and how subjective socioeconomic status (SES) moderates this relationship. In Studies 1–4, we found that people with higher level of empathic concern tend to use more adaptive coping strategies, seek more social support, and use fewer maladaptive coping strategies. Moreover, higher trait empathy was related to using more adaptive coping strategies among the poor, and fewer maladaptive coping strategies among the rich, compared to lower trait empathy peers. In Study 5, we tested the potential biological basis of the relationship between trait empathy and coping by examining the effect of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) rs53576 polymorphism on coping. We found that individuals with the GG phenotype—who in previous research have been found to be more empathic—were more likely to seek social support than AG or AA individuals. Furthermore, in line with findings in Studies 1–4, amongst people with low SES, individuals with GG genotype used more adaptive coping strategies than AG or AA individuals. Our results highlight the selective role trait empathy plays in influencing coping strategy deployment, depending on the SES of individuals.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This research is funded by Economic and Social Research Council (UK) to AK with the grant reference ES/K008331/1. URLs:http://www. 1/read.
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:32123
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:01 Apr 2019 15:47
Last Modified:15 Aug 2021 08:17


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -