- The relationship between psychopathy and moral development in young sex offenders
- Psychology, Crime & Law
- Volume | Issue number
- 18 | 7
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
This study examined the relationship between psychopathic traits and moral development (moral judgement and empathy) in 85 Dutch male sex offenders between 13 and 23 years of age. Questions were asked about general life situations, sexual situations with morally relevant features, and questions about the offender's own abuse victim. A weak negative association was found between psychopathy and mature moral judgement, but only when questions involved the offender's own abuse victim. Weak to moderate negative associations were found between psychopathy and cognitive and affective empathy in general and sexual situations, but not in the own abuse victim situations. Further analysis revealed moderate negative associations between psychopathy and affective empathy in the own abuse victim situations, but only when an unfamiliar victim was involved. This is the first study, to our knowledge, showing that juvenile sex offenders with high levels of psychopathy have context-specific moral deficits, and that in this group both cognitive and affective empathy are related to psychopathy.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.