Empathy is considered a positive aspect of caregiving, although in certain circumstances, being empathic might increase the burden of caregivers. The current study assessed the associations between empathy, parental efficacy, and family burden among parents of children who were hospitalized in a psychiatric unit. Specifically, we examined whether the association between empathy and family burden was moderated by the parents’ sense of self-efficacy. Seventy parents of children with psychiatric disorders, hospitalized in an inpatient psychiatric unit, filled out questionnaires of empathy, parental efficacy, and family burden. Results supported a moderating role of parental efficacy between empathy and family burden (interaction effect: β = −1.72, p =.0406). Specifically, empathy was positively related to family burden among parents with low self-efficacy (conditional effect = 0.70, p =.032) and negatively related to family burden among parents with high self-efficacy (conditional effect = −0.39, p = N.S). Implications for practice include the importance of self-efficacy and address the possible negative implications of empathy among parents of children treated in a psychiatric hospital.
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- Family burden