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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 217773 Find in a Library
Title: Non-Sexual Delinquency in Juvenile Sexual Offenders: The Mediating and Moderating Influences of Emotional Empathy
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:22  Issue:1  Dated:January 2007  Pages:43-54
Author(s): John A. Hunter; Aurelio J. Figueredo; Judith V. Becker; Neil Malamuth
Date Published: January 2007
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study expands the study of juvenile sex offenders to include the investigation of emotional empathy (general concern for the well-being of others) and its developmental, personality, and behavioral correlates.
Abstract: As hypothesized, emotional empathy apparently has both mediating and moderating influences on the propensity of juvenile sex offenders to engage in nonsexual delinquency. Positive fathering and attachment to parents were associated with greater emotional empathy in juvenile sex offenders; and exposure to male-perpetrated physical and sexual abuse of females was linked to diminished emotional responsiveness. These findings support the theory that empathy is developmentally linked to secure parental attachments and children's experiencing of parents as caring and committed to their welfare in their formative years. Data were collected from 184 juvenile sex offenders who were recruited from multiple public and private institutional treatment programs for juvenile sex offenders across the United States. The sample was administered a social history questionnaire that provided data on developmental experiences before age 13, as well as the commission of acts of nonsexual aggression and delinquency in the year preceding residential placement. Developmental data included self-reports of maltreatment experiences (sexual and nonsexual), exposure to violence against females, and exposure to male-modeled antisocial behavior. Youth were also administered a battery of assessment instruments designed to measure the personality constructs of interest. 65 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile Sex Offenders
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Antisocial attitudes; Attitudes toward victims; Juvenile delinquency factors; Sex offender profiles
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