Empathy in child molesters: a comparative view (1998)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Arts
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
In recent years there has been a large amount of research into the causes and treatment of child molestation. One focus of this research was concerned with the role of empathy deficits in child molesters. This thesis discusses the research to date in this area, with particular reference to the definition and nature of empathy, and the question of whether deficits in child molesters might be victim specific rather than general. It then investigates the nature of empathy deficits in child molesters, and compares them with empathy deficits in other offenders.
Thirty incarcerated child molesters, twenty incarcerated violent offenders, and twenty incarcerated nonsexual/nonviolent offenders completed four questionnaires, including the Emotional Apperception Test. While there were no significant differences between groups, the EAT revealed that child molesters and violent offenders have deficits in their ability to emotionally replicate the states of their victims. These and other findings are discussed in relation to previous and future research, and an amended version of the EAT is recommended.
KeywordsEmpathy; Child molesters--Psychology; Child sexual abuse--Psychological aspects; Violence--Psychological aspects
RightsAll Rights Reserved
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Cognitive deconstruction in child molesters Sutcliffe-Thomas, Christina Jane (University of Canterbury, 1996)Child molesters present with a variety of characteristics that contribute to the development and perpetuation of their offending, which can be further utilised in the assessment of offender subtypes. Offenders' cognitive ...
Replication of child sexual abuse in males Robertson, David Brian (1990)This thesis reviewed the major methodological, theoretical and empirical research literature pertaining to replication of child sexual abuse (CSA) in males. The review concluded that a dearth of scientific evidence exists ...
Informing the prevention of child sexual abuse: comparing convicted offenders and minor-attracted persons Culling, Harriette (University of Canterbury, 2018)The aim of the current study was to inform the prevention of child sexual abuse. It was an exploratory study that sought to add to the small but growing literature of Minor-Attracted Persons (MAPs). A sample of self-identified ...