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Title: Assessing components of empathy and victim specific empathy in sex-offenders with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Author: Ralfs, Sonya
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 0326
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2009
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The focus of this thesis is empathy in sex offenders with intellectual disabilities (ID). The first section reviews components of empathy, based on Marshall et al.'s (1995) model, in sex-offenders with ID. Due to the paucity of research into empathy in sexoffenders with ID, the review establishes what can be learned from studies investigating components of empathy in sex-offenders without disabilities and in people with ID. Evidence is conflicting and no clear conclusions can be made as to whether sexoffenders or people with ID are deficient in components of empathy. Further research is needed into the components of empathy in sex-offenders with ID, motivating the research carried out in section two. The second section describes a study on components of empathy and victim empathy in sex-offenders with ID. Twenty-one sex-offenders and twenty-one non-offenders with ID were given measures of empathy. In addition the sex-offenders completed a measure of empathy towards their own victim. There were no significant differences between sex-offenders and non-offenders with ID on measures of general or victim empathy, nor on components of empathy. There was no significant relationship between the sexoffenders' scores on empathy towards their own victim and empathy towards nonspecific victims of sexual assault. Sex-offenders who had received treatment performed better on some measures of components of empathy than non-offenders. Limitations and clinical implications are discussed. Further research is needed to understand empathy in sex-offenders with ID. The final section discusses reflections on the research process, including what was learned and areas for future development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available