Katarina Sokić, Fayyaz Hussain Qureshi, Sarwar Khawaja


The primary purpose of this study was to investigate relationships between aggression, empathy, and life satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic. The main aim was to analyse the contribution of empathy components (empathic concern, personal distress, perspective-taking, and fantasy) above reactive and proactive aggression in predicting life satisfaction.. The Reactive-Proactive Aggression Questionnaire (RPQ), Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Single Item on Overall Life Satisfaction (OLS), and Single Item on Overall Happiness (OH) measures were applied to 418 students in private higher education (232 male, 186 female). The participants’ age ranged from 18 to 34, with a mean age of 21 years (SD = 3.18). Results showed that reactive aggression negatively predicted satisfaction with life and overall happiness, while proactive aggression did not significantly predict indicators of life satisfaction. Empathic concern showed a significant positive effect on satisfaction with life, while personal distress showed a significant adverse effect on all indicators of life satisfaction. Aggression and empathy together accounted for 14% of the variance in the satisfaction with life and 5% of the variance in overall life satisfaction and overall happiness. Empathy added incremental variance in explaining life satisfaction after controlling for aggression. The results highlight the importance of reactive aggression and emotional empathy in the explanation of life satisfaction.


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