Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Peggy J. Cantrell

Committee Members

Jon B. Ellis, Russell W. Brown


This study examined emotional empathy and reasons for living in substance using college students. Participants included 49 males and 120 females, ages 18 to 54 years (M = 21.95) from undergraduate psychology classes. A packet containing a substance abuse scale, a short demographic, Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES), and Reasons for Living Inventory (RFL) was administered. The independent variables were gender and levels of substance use. The dependent variables were reasons for living scores and emotional empathy scores.

A 2 (gender) X 3 (level of substance use) Analysis of Variance was used. For empathy, a main effect was found for gender but not for substance use. For RFL, no effects were found. Significant relationships between two demographics and dependent variables were non-hypothesized findings. Being arrested for a crime other than a minor traffic violation was related to low emotional empathy. Suicidal ideation was significantly related to fewer reasons for living.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Psychology Commons