alexa The relation of facial affect recognition and empathy to delinquency in youth offenders.
Psychiatry

Psychiatry

International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology

Author(s): Carr MB, Lutjemeier JA

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Abstract Associations among facial affect recognition, empathy, and self-reported delin-quency were studied in a sample of 29 male youth offenders at a probation placement facility. Youth offenders were asked to recognize facial expressions of emotions from adult faces, child faces, and cartoon faces. Youth offenders also responded to a series of statements on emotional empathy, and provided self-reported acts of delinquency. Findings revealed a moderate positive relationship between ability to recognize the expression, angry, in adult faces, and self-reported acts of delinquent behavior, which included physical violence, theft, and vandalism. Findings revealed a moderate inverse relationship between ability to recognize facial expressions of emotions in child faces and self-reported acts of physical violence. With respect to specific facial expressions of emotions in child faces, a moderate inverse relationship was found between ability to recognize the expression, fearful, and self-reported acts of physical violence. A moderate positive relationship was found between ability to recognized the expression, fearful, in child faces, and ability to empathize with the emotional experiences of others. Strong and moderate links were found between the negative expressions, fearful and sad, and angry and sad, respectively. Additionally, a strong inverse relationship was found between ability to emphathize with the emotional experiences of others and self-reported acts of delinquent behavior. Lastly, a strong positive relationship was found between covert and overt self-reported acts of delinquent behavior. Results from this exploratory investigation suggest a link between facial affect recognition, empathy, and delinquency. Findings have important implications for educators and counselors who work with youth offenders within probation placement facilities.
This article was published in Adolescence and referenced in International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology

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