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Title: The role of empathy in family violence
Author: Fitzmaurice, Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 8489
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores the role of empathy in family violence, specifically child maltreatment (CM) and intimate partner violence (IPV). Chapter 1 introduces the construct of empathy, its development and relevance to violence. Chapter 2 then explores the relationship between empathy and CM in a systematic literature review of 17 studies. Results found that maltreating parents demonstrate significantly lower empathic capacity and that this relationship is stronger for cognitive than affective empathy. Chapter 3 presents a critical analysis of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI; Davis, 1980) demonstrating that the measure has good reliability, validity and a range of normative data. Limitations of the measure include the validity of the Fantasy subscale and it being a questionnaire-based assessment. Chapter 4 presents a research report exploring the presence of empathy and emotional recognition skills in IPV (n=30), violent (n=20) and non-violent (n=20) offenders. Results found that IPV participants were more likely than NV offenders to interpret fearful faces as sad. Only the IRI personal distress scale (PD) showed a significant relationship with emotion recognition. The thesis conclusions are presented in Chapter 5 which identifies that empathy plays a role in family violence, although its influence in CM and IPV appears to be different.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Foren.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman