Emotional Literacy in Female Offenders
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The BarOn EQ-i model of emotional intelligence and Factor 1 of Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist-Revised: Screening Version were used to assess emotional literacy and callous-unemotional traits in sixty female offenders. Findings suggest that female offenders show significant emotional literacy deficits compared to the normal population especially in areas of empathy, social responsibility and interpersonal relationships. This association was examined further in relation to criminal history variables; seriousness and chronicity. Emotional literacy was predictive of criminal history, but not offender type. Contrary to expectations, callous-unemotional traits only showed a few relations to emotional literacy namely, significant correlations between PCL: SV Factor 1 score and aspects of problem solving. Violent offenders with high callous-unemotional traits showed significantly more emotional literacy deficits than non-violent offenders with high callous-unemotional traits, especially in interpersonal and adaptability emotional literacy areas. Interestingly those that demonstrated suicidal ideation regardless of offence type showed the poorest emotional literacy abilities and were more likely to show higher levels of callous-unemotional traits. The implications and recommendations for future research as well as the limitations of the study are discussed.