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Developing an Alternative Chinese Version of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index for Normal Population and Patients with Schizophrenia in Taiwan

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 August 2014

Shih-Kuang Chiang*
Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan
Mau-Sun Hua
Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Wai-Cheong Carl Tam
Department of Psychology, Chun Yuan Christian University, Taiwan
Jian-Kang Chao
Department of Psychiatry, Yuli Veterans Hospital, Taiwan Department of Health Administration, Tzu Chi College of Technology, Taiwan
Yung-Jong Shiah
Graduate Institute of Guidance and Counseling, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan
Address for correspondence: Shih-Kuang Chiang, No. 1, Sec. 2, Da Hsueh Rd, Shoufeng, Hualien 97401, Taiwan, R.O.C.
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The Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) is a multidimensional individual-difference measure of empathy. The original IRI has been used in many studies to assess both normal and clinical samples. Because of its wide availability and convenience of use, the IRI has been translated into several languages. In Taiwan, the IRI was translated into traditional Chinese as a Chinese Version of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (C-IRI) in 1987. Because the C-IRI was developed over 26 years ago and recent studies have shown some unsatisfactory psychometric properties on the C-IRI, there was a need to develop an alternative to the C-IRI and verify its psychometric properties again. In this study, we assessed the psychometric properties of an alternative C-IRI by administering it to 516 college students, 35 community residents and 70 schizophrenic patients, all of whom are adults. Exploratory factor analyses revealed a four-factor structure: Fantasy, Perspective Taking, Empathy and Personal Distress. Acceptable convergent and divergent validity supported the construct validity of the alternative C-IRI. Evidence was also found for its discriminant validity between patients with schizophrenia and normal controls on the Empathy subscale and Affective Empathy, while the full scale and its factors demonstrated good internal consistency and test–retest reliability. In the future, the alternative C-IRI should be validated with adolescent or elderly samples, and different clinical samples.

Copyright © Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment 2014 

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