Home > Measure of Empathy in Early Childhood

The Measure of Empathy in Early Childhood (MEEC) is a parent-report tool for measuring empathy in young children between the ages of 2 and 8 years. The MEEC captures five dimensions of empathic behaviours in young children: prosocial behaviour, attention to others’ emotions, personal distress to others’ emotions, personal distress to the experiences of fictional characters, and sympathy.

Researchers can download the MEEC here. The instructions, item wording and item response format of the MEEC should not be changed. For Spanish and Italian translation versions of the MEEC, contact Prof. Eva Kimonis at e.kimonis@unsw.edu.au to request a copy.

The MEEC was developed by sourcing items from pre-existing empathy measures and from statements made by parents about their child’s empathy during a semi structured clinical interview. This initial item list was then refined using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses to produce the final five-factor structure of the MEEC.

Researchers can download the scale development article here.


Kimonis, E. R., Jain, N., Neo, B., Fleming, G. E., & Briggs, N. (2021). Development of an Empathy Rating Scale for Young Children. Assessment 00(0), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1177/10731911211038629