The role of empathy in anger arousal in violent offenders and university students

Day, Andrew, Mohr, Philip, Howells, Kevin, Gerace, Adam, and Lim, Loraine (2012) The role of empathy in anger arousal in violent offenders and university students. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 56 (4). pp. 599-613.

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A lack of empathic responsiveness toward others has been consistently identified as an important antecedent to aggressive behavior and violent crime, with many rehabilitation programs for violent offenders incorporating treatment modules that are specifically designed to increase offender empathy. This study examined the extent to which cognitive (perspective taking) and affective (empathic concern, personal distress) empathy predicted anger in a clinical (male prisoners convicted of a violent offense) and a nonclinical (student) sample. Perspective taking emerged as the strongest predictor of self-reported anger in response to an interpersonal provocation, as well as being most consistently related to scores on measures of general trait anger and methods of anger control. While the relationship between perspective taking and anger was apparent for offenders as well as students, the results did not support the idea that an inability to perspective take is a particular characteristic of violent offenders.

Item ID: 47178
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1552-6933
Keywords: empathy, anger, perspective taking, violent offenders
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP0452675
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2017 07:50
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170104 Forensic Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940408 Rehabilitation and Correctional Services @ 100%
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