Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Developing a Subcomponent of Empathy in Juvenile Offenders
by Brown, Elizabeth L., Psy.D., The University of the Rockies, 2018, 151; 10817599
Abstract (Summary)

This study was designed to evaluate the ability of Mind Reading, a computerized program created for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, to improve the emotion recognition abilities of juvenile offenders. Emotion recognition is one component of empathy, a quality that has been shown to be deficient in juvenile offenders. Determining methods to help reduce offending, including investigating whether subcomponents of empathy can be impacted individually, is necessary to help improve the safety of society and to provide effective services to offenders. The study contributed to the body of knowledge related to impacting the behaviors of juvenile offenders. A sample of 13 juveniles offenders was divided into treatment and control groups. Both groups completed pretreatment assessments of empathy and emotion recognition. The treatment group used the Mind Reading program; the control group had treatment as usual. The two control groups were reevaluated after the intervention to determine if the Mind Reading program impacted either overall empathy or emotion recognition skills. The study results did not reach statistical significance as there was not enough power to detect changes. Although not statistically significant, the treatment group demonstrated a trend toward higher levels of emotion recognition, indicating the potential utility of the Mind Reading program and the need for larger studies to further investigate the program's utility. An individualized, computer-based education/treatment program could potentially provide support to a large number of difficult-to-reach youth.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Julien, Jacqueline
Commitee: Faragher, J. Michael, Rentler, David
School: The University of the Rockies
Department: Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Experimental psychology, Personality psychology, Criminology
Keywords: Emotion recognition, Empathy, Juvenile offenders, Mind reading
Publication Number: 10817599
ISBN: 978-0-355-94216-3
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