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Empathy deficits and adolescent sexual offending: A systematic review of the evidence base

Baly, A; Butler, SM; (2017) Empathy deficits and adolescent sexual offending: A systematic review of the evidence base. Aggression and Violent Behavior , 36 pp. 81-97. 10.1016/j.avb.2017.07.007. Green open access

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Abstract

Although empathy deficits are commonly assumed to contribute to adolescent sex offending, no systematic review of the evidence base has been undertaken. To rectify this omission, this review examines whether current evidence supports the existence of a relationship between empathy and adolescent sexual offending. A systematic search of the evidence base found sixteen relevant empirical studies, which provided evidence that was inconclusive or subject to methodological limitations. The review suggests that further systematic and methodologically-sound research is required to determine the extent and nature of the relationship between empathy and adolescent sex offending, that any relationship between the two is unlikely to be straightforward, and that explanations of the mechanisms involved should be integrated into wider multifactorial explanations for this behavior.

Type: Article
Title: Empathy deficits and adolescent sexual offending: A systematic review of the evidence base
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.avb.2017.07.007
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2017.07.007
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Adolescent sexual offending, Juvenile sexual offending, Empathy
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1571985
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