Development of the Crying Proneness Scale: associations among crying proneness, empathy, attachment, and age

J Pers Assess. 2014;96(6):619-31. doi: 10.1080/00223891.2014.899498. Epub 2014 Apr 14.


Crying is a unique form of human emotional expression that is associated with both positive and negative evocative antecedents. This article investigates the psychometric properties of a newly developed Crying Proneness Scale by examining the factor structure, test-retest reliability, and theoretically hypothesized relationships with empathy, attachment, age, and gender. Based on an analysis of data provided by a Dutch panel (Time 1: N = 4,916, Time 2: N = 4,874), exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses suggest that crying proneness is a multidimensional construct best characterized by four factors called attachment tears, societal tears, sentimental/moral tears, and compassionate tears. Test-retest reliability of the scale was adequate and associations with age, gender, empathy, and attachment demonstrated expected relations. Results suggest that this scale can be used to measure crying proneness, and that it will be useful in future studies that aim to gain a better understanding of normal and pathological socioemotional development.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Crying / psychology*
  • Empathy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Object Attachment*
  • Personality Inventory*
  • Psychological Techniques
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult