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Laws 2014, 3(4), 706-720; doi:10.3390/laws3040706

Explaining Female Offending and Prosocial Behavior: The Role of Empathy and Cognitive Distortions

Department of Forensic Child and Youth Care Sciences, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 15780, Amsterdam 1001 NG, The Netherlands
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Received: 11 July 2014 / Revised: 25 September 2014 / Accepted: 30 September 2014 / Published: 15 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Juvenile Delinquency)
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Abstract

The aim of the present study was threefold: to examine (1) the relation between both cognitive and affective empathy and prosocial behavior; (2) the relation between both cognitive and affective empathy and offending; and (3) the role of cognitive distortions in the relation between cognitive empathy, affective empathy and offending in a sample of adolescent girls with lower SES and education (N = 264). Results showed that both cognitive and affective empathy were positively related to prosocial behavior. Furthermore, cognitive empathy was positively related to offending, whereas affective empathy was not related to offending. Finally, no support was found for our hypothesis that cognitive distortions play a moderating role in the relation between empathy and offending. View Full-Text
Keywords: prosocial behavior; offending; empathy; cognitive distortions; female; adolescents prosocial behavior; offending; empathy; cognitive distortions; female; adolescents
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

van Langen, M.A.M.; Stams, G.J.J.M.; Van Vugt, E.S.; Wissink, I.B.; Asscher, J.J. Explaining Female Offending and Prosocial Behavior: The Role of Empathy and Cognitive Distortions. Laws 2014, 3, 706-720.

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