1st Edition

Empathy versus Offending, Aggression and Bullying
Advancing Knowledge using the Basic Empathy Scale

ISBN 9780367253745
Published March 23, 2021 by Routledge
282 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Empathy versus Offending, Aggression, and Bullying advances knowledge about the measurement of empathy, using the Basic Empathy Scale (BES), and how empathy is related to offending, aggression, and bullying in community and incarcerated groups.

Empathy is widely accepted as one of the most important individual factors that are related to offending, aggression, and bullying, and it is common in many intervention projects to aim to improve empathy in order to reduce offending, aggression, and bullying. The BES was constructed by Jolliffe and Farrington (2006) and has been widely used in a number of countries. This book brings together chapters, from a broad range of contributors, which explore the application of BES in ten different countries (England, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, Croatia, Australia, Canada, and the USA). Each chapter reviews the use of the BES in that particular jurisdiction, its psychometric properties, and its importance in relation to offending, aggression, and bullying. The research includes samples from primary schools, secondary schools, and the community, as well as those who are justice-involved and on probation, in prisons and secure psychiatric hospitals. The book concludes with wider implications for intervention, policy, and practice.

This book will be valuable reading for students and scholars of criminology, psychology and sociology, as well as practitioners who are interested in developing their understanding of the complex link between empathy and a range of antisocial behaviours.  

Table of Contents

Foreword by Friedrich Lösel

1: Measuring empathy using the Basic Empathy Scale

Darrick Jolliffe and David P. Farrington

Part I. The Basic Empathy Scale and Parenting

2: The Basic Empathy Scale: Psychometric Properties and Contributions to the Understanding of Antisocial Behaviour

Miguel Basto-Pereira and David P. Farrington

3: Parents’ Empathy and Child Attachment Security: A Brief Review

Evelyn Heynen, Ellin Simon, Peer van der Helm, Geert Jan Stams and Mark Assink

4: Parenting Style and Empathy in Youth: A Three-level Meta-Analysis

Evelyn Heynen, Peer van der Helm, Ellin Simon, Geert Jan Stams, and Mark Assink

Part II. Empathy and Offending

5: Contextual Correlates of Empathy

Peer van der Helm

6: Empathy, Convictions, and Self-Reported Offending of Males and Females in the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development

David P. Farrington and Darrick Jolliffe

7: Empathy and Reoffending in a UK Probation Sample

Darrick Jolliffe and David P. Farrington

8: Empathy and Psychopathy: How are they Related in Men and Women?

Henriette Bergstrøm, Darrick Jolliffe and David P. Farrington

9: Correlates of Affective and Cognitive Empathy Among Incarcerated Male and Female Youth Offenders

Pedro Pechorro, Darrick Jolliffe and Cristina Nunes

10: The Relationship between Empathy, Clinical Problems and Reoffending in a Sample of Canadian Male Offenders

Christopher J. Koegl

11: Enhancing Empathy Amongst Mentally Disordered Offenders with Music Therapy

Stella Compton-Dickinson and Darrick Jolliffe

Part III: Aggression and Bullying

12: Cognitive Empathy as a Moderator in the Relation Between Negative Emotionality Traits and Schoolchildren’s Aggressive Behaviours

Noelia Sánchez-Pérez and Carmen González-Salinas

13: Low Cognitive Empathy and its Relationship to Relational, Online, and Physical Aggression in young adults in Australia.

Tara Renae McGee, Darrick Jolliffe, Li Eriksson, Christine E.W. Bond and David P. Farrington

14: Empathy in Polish and Spanish Children and Adolescents: Validation of the Basic Empathy Scale and its Relation to Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Other Antisocial Behaviours

Izabela Zych, David P. Farrington, Darrick Jolliffe and Estera Twardowska-Staszek

15: Risk Factors for Cyberbullying: The Mediating Role of Empathy in Adolescents in Italy in a One-year Follow-up StudyAnna Sorrentino, Anna Costanza Baldry, Darrick Jolliffe, and David P. Farrington

16: A Retrospective Examination of Bullying Victimization During High School: Exploring Narcissism Deficits and Empathy

Jeffrey A. Walsh, Jessie L. Krienert, and Samantha McAdams

17: The Relationship Between Empathy and Prison Bullying in a Sample of Croatian Prisoners

Ivana Sekol, Tihomir Vidranski and Darrick Jolliffe

Part IV: Conclusions

18: Empathy and offending, aggression and bullying: Taking Stock and Moving Forward

Darrick Jolliffe and David P. Farrington



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Darrick Jolliffe is Professor of Criminology and Head of the School of Law and Criminology at the University of Greenwich. He has published extensively in the areas of empathy, individual differences and offending, developmental life-course criminology, punishment and offending, and has conducted numerous research studies for National and International Government Agencies.

David P. Farrington, O.B.E., is Emeritus Professor of Psychological Criminology at Cambridge University. He has received the Stockholm Prize in Criminology and he has been President of the American Society of Criminology. His major research interest is in developmental criminology, and he is Director of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, which is a prospective longitudinal survey of over 400 London males from age 8 to age 61. In addition to 850 published journal articles and book chapters on criminological and psychological topics, he has published 115 books, monographs, and government publications, and 161 shorter publications.